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5juJl. ^^/-Q'^ 




Lee M. Friedman '93 





Old European JEWRIES 


" Bv the Ghello'f plague. 
Bv Ibr garb's disgrari" 




Pkintiuki a.vd Pcblishino liot«»K, 

IIarriabuku, Pa. 







When, several years ago, I planned a 
trip abroad, one of my objects was to 
visit the remains of the old Jewish quar- 
ters in some of the European cities. Be- 
fore that time, I had determined to write 
the story of the Ghetto, and it occurred 
to me that it would add interest to the 
work if I could supplement my studies by 
a view of the sites of certain old Jewries. 
This I found to be the case, for memories 
linger about these spots which bring their 
history vividly to mind. 

I have limited myself to a study 
of the officially instituted Ghetto. The 
legislation restricting Jews in the choice 
of their dwelling places was in a line 
with the general policy of church and 
state towards them up to this century. At 


2 Preface. 

times, it is true, Jews resided together \x\ 
separate portions of cities even when they 
were not forced to do so by law. For the 
formation of these voluntary Ghettos there 
were various reasons, which I point out in 
one of the chapters of this book. 

I have included a chapter on the Rus- 
sian Pale of Settlement, the great modern 
Ghetto, because it is germane to the sub- 
ject. We see the evils and horrors of the 
old Ghetto repeated in our own day in 
these districts. 

We can not but stand amazed at the en- 
durance of the Jew which enabled him to 
triumph over the nameless woes which the 
thought of the Ghetto suggests. It is one 
of the wonders of history. 

Cincinnati, y^/v, 1894. 



I Early Settlements of Jews in Eu- 
rope, 5 

II The Institution of the Ghetto , . 19 

III The Ghetto in Church Legislation 35 

IV The Judengasse of Frankfort-on- 

thf.-Main , 46 

V The Judenstadt of Prague .... 82 

VI The Ghetto of Rome 120 

VII The Russian Ghetto 177 

VIII Effects and Results 194 

IX The Ghetto in Literature .... 220 

Notes 255 

Indkx 269 




After the destruction of Jerusalem by 
the Romans in the year 70 C. E., the Jews 
cast about for new dwelling places. Long 
before this event Jews had settled in 
the various capitals of the then civilized 
world, in Alexandria, Antioch, Rome, the 
cities of Asia Minor and Egypt. In Rome, 
the influence of their religious teachings 
became apparent as early as 76 B. C. E.,' 
but their settlement in considerable num- 
bers is usually dated from the time of 
Pompey, the first Roman general to enter 
Jerusalem and carry Jews to Rome ;' 
thereafter, the Jewish colony received ad- 
ditions from time to time. Outside of 
Rome, it is not likely that* there were 
Jewish settlements in western Europe be- 
fore the beginning of the Christian era, 

although there were traditions current in 


6 Old European Jewries. 

later days among the Jews themselves that 
some of their number had settled in por- 
tions of Europe in very early times. For 
example, it has been asserted that there 
were synagogues in Germany, at Ulm and 
Worms, before the origin of Christianity. 
The Spanish Jews had a tradition that 
there were Jews in Spain as early as the 
days of King Solomon.^ But these pre- 
tensions cannot be established, and will 
not bear scrutiny. The earliest authentic 
notices concerning the Jews in European 
lands date from the first Christian cen- 
turies. Titus, the conqueror of Jerusalem, 
we know, deported thousands of Jewish 
captives to the western Roman provinces. 
Many were sent to Sardinia to work in 
the mines, many remained in Rome, and 
we have frequent notices of them during 
the reigns of succeeding emperors. Into 
the Italian cities, they naturally drifted 
from Rome.- As for Spain, the earliest au- 
thentic notice is by the apostle Paul, who, 
in his Epistle to the Romans, says : 
" Whensoever I take my journey into 
Spain, I will come to you ;*for I trust to 

Early Settlements. 7 

see you in my journey, and to be brought 
on my way thitherward by you ; "* and ** I 
will come by you into Spain. "* Paul, we 
know, journeyed only to places in which 
Jews dwelt, or in which Jewish teach- 
ings had been established, for only those 
acquainted with Jewish doctrines could 
understand him. At any rate, Jews dwelt 
in Spain before the beginning of the fourth 
century, for the council of Illiberis, held 
in 305, devoted four decrees to the Jews, 
forbidding the Christians to live on inti- 
mate terms with them, this showing that 
there must have been a considerable num- 
ber of Jews living in Spain at that time. 
Among these paragraphs are the follow- 
ing : If heretics are unwilling to join the 
Catholic Church, Catholic girls must not 
be given to them in marriage ; but neither 
to Jews nor to heretics should they be 
given, because there can be no associa- 
tion for the faithful with the unbeliever. 
If parents act contrary to this prohibition, 
they shall be cut off from communion for 
five years.^ 

If, then, any ecclesiastic or any of the 

8 Old European Jewries. 

faithful partakes of food with Jews, he 
shall be deprived of communion, so that 
this may be corrected.^ 

Owners (of land) are warned not to 
permit their products which they receive 
from God to be blessed by Jews, lest they 
make our blessing useless and weak. If 
anyone shall presume to do this after this 
prohibition, he shall be excluded from the 

These decrees definitely prove that there 
were Jews in Spain as early as 300. 

As for France, or Gaul, as the province 
was called in early days, it is unknown, 
according to Graetz, when the Jews first 
settled there.^ There is no proof of 
their residence prior to the second cen- 

Depping," arguing from the expressions 
of Constantine regarding the jews of Co- 
logne, concludes that they may have been 
dwelling in some of the cities of north- 
western Europe before the attention of 
the Roman emperors was directed to them. 
In a law of the Theodosian code" (com- 
piled between 425 and 435), addressed to 

Early Settlements. 9 

the prefect of Gaul, a favorable mention of 
the Jews occurs, which would go to prove 
that they were then firmly settled, and were 
scattered throughout Gaul and Belgium. 
According to tradition, Jews settled in 
Germany in hoary antiquity. When, in 
the time of the crusades, the Jews of 
western Europe were held responsible for 
the death of Jesus, and thousands upon 
thousands of them were slaughtered by the 
wild mobs on that account, some tale had 
to be invented to disprove the charge, and 
the Jews put forth the claim that they had 
had a congregation in Worms long before 
the time of Jesus, in fact, as early as the 
days of Ezra, and that, therefore, they 
were not concerned with nor responsible 
for the crucifixion. According to another 
tradition, the Jews of southern Germany 
were descendants of the soldiers who had 
sacked J erusalem. These soldiers, the Van- 
giones — so ran the story — had selected 
beautiful Jewish women as their portion 
of the spoil, carried them to their quarters 
on the Rhine and the Main, and there 
consorted with them. Their children were 

lo Old European ycwries, 

reared as Jews by their mothers, and were 
the founders of the Jewish communities 
between Worms and Mayence." This, 
however, is all legendary. The earliest reli- 
able notices of the settlement of Jews in 
German cities inform us that there were 
Jews in Cologne in the fourth century,'^ in 
Magdeburg, Merseburg'^ and Ratisbon'^ in 
the tenth, and in Mayence, Speyer, Worms 
and Treves'^ in the eleventh. As for Nu- 
remberg, one chronicler states that Jews 
dwelt there in the year lOO, another makes 
it as early as 46, but historical data do not 
justify us in considering their residence 
there as assured before the time of Em- 
peror Henry IV in the eleventh century.'^ 
Undoubtedly, Jews did dwell in the Ger- 
man cities before the tenth and eleventh 
centuries, for in those times they were 
present in large numbers, but no earlier 
archives and authentic documents mention 

As for the Jews in England, the first 
notices we have of their presence in that 
country before the Norman conquest are 
in the collections of canon laws made by 

Early Settlements. 1 1 

Theodorus, Archbishop of Canterbury, 
and Egbert, Archbishop of York, for the 
regulation of the church. By these laws 
the Jews are subjected to much the same 
prohibitions as those formulated by the 
church councils. Theodorus was arch- 
bishop from 669 to 691, and Egbert, from 
735 ^o 766.'* There is one more notice of 
the residence of Jews in England in early 
days. A document issued by King Wit- 
glaff, of Mercia, in 833, confirms the right 
of the monks of the cloister of Croyland 
to all the possessions given them by earlier 
kings of Mercia, nobles and other faithful 
Christians, and also to those received from 
Jews as gift, pledge or otherwise.'' 

All argument as to the earlier residence 
of Jews in these lands is necessarily con- 
jectural ; it seems justifiable to conclude 
that they settled wherever a home was of- 
fered them, but until positive proofs are 
produced to the contrary, we must regard 
those given above as the earliest authentic 
notices. The first settlements of Jews 
in European lands arc still shrouded in 
mystery. ~ 

12 Old European yewries. 

Up to the time of the crusades the con- 
dition of the Jews in Europe was bearable. 
There were outbursts of the persecuting 
spirit now and then, notably in the reigns 
of the Visigothic kings in Spain and the 
Merovingian in France ; there were bitter 
attacks made against them by churchmen, 
such as Amolo and Agobard, of Lyons ; 
but compared with the fiendish treatment 
inaugurated by the mobs on their way to 
Palestine to conquer the sepulcher of their 
Lord, the life of the Jews during the first 
ten Christian centuries was almost blissful. 
They were free citizens, could dwell wher- 
ever they liked, and were on terms of 
friendship and intimacy with the Christian 
population. If they had not been, decrees 
would not have been passed by the church 
councils forbidding such intimacy. They 
followed what pursuits they pleased, and 
on the whole led peaceful lives. But with 
the fanatical cry resounding throughout 
Europe at the time of the crusades : ** Ex- 
terminate the enemies of Christ at home 
before fighting against them in the far 
East," the terrible woes of the Jews began, 

Early Settlements. 1 3 

and the bloody chapter of the persecutions 
of centuries was opened. The J ew was safe 
nowhere in France, Germany, England and 
Austria, the countries especially affected 
by the crusades. The mobs, incited by 
the priesthood, robbed, plundered, out- 
raged, murdered, exterminated. In those 
dark times, to protect the Jews as far as 
possible from the persecutions of the pop- 
ulace and the venom of the priesthood, 
and to assure their right of residence in 
the different cities and districts, the em- 
perors of the Holy Roman Empire and 
the kings of various countries took them 
under their special protection, for pecuni- 
ary considerations, of course, and the Jews 
became the so-called servicamercBy servants 
of the chamber, of the emperor or king. 
The idea gained ground that the Jews 
were subject to the emperor directly, were 
to be protected by him everywhere, and 
had to pay for this protection. This ser- 
vitude did not mean that they were slaves 
or serfs, with whose life or goods the em- 
peror or king could do as he pleased, but 
merely that they had to pay tribute for his 

14 Old European yeivries. 

protection. In the end it virtually robbed 
them of their freedom, since these rulers 
did with them much as they wished. The 
exact date of the beginning of this re- 
lation cannot be determined. The em- 
perors pleased themselves with the fiction 
that this subjection and protection began 
with the taking of Jerusalem by Titus; 
that the Jews came under the protection 
of the Roman emperors at that time, and 
that, as they were the legitimate succes- 
sors of the emperors of Rome, they ac- 
quired the rights of the latter. This con- 
tention is not worthy of serious considera- 
tion. The servitude of the chamber was 
a new institution, called forth by the terri- 
ble calamities that befell the Jews, and was 
at the time welcomed as a boon, as almost 
anything would have been that promised 
respite and deliverance. Graetz*' says that 
in Germany this protection was systematic- 
ally instituted in the reign of Frederick 
Barbarossa. Henry IV protected them 
in 1 103. Conrad III, during the second 
crusade, gave the Jews who applied to him 
for protection refuge in Nuremberg. Al- 

Early Settlements, 1 5 

though there are these instances of pro- 
tection in the twelfth, yet according to 
Stobbe" it was only in the thirteenth cen- 
tury that the institution of servi camera 
was established. In the reign of Frederick 
II," the Jews are called special servants of 
the chamber, and in 1246 Conrad IV calls 
the Jews of Frankfort servi earner ce nostrce. 
In France and England,'^ a like relation 
was supposed to hold between the Jews 
and the kings. This supposition of the 
special jurisdiction of the emperor or 
king over the Jews exerted a great influ- 
ence upon their residence in various cities 
and districts. Jews were looked upon in 
one light only, viz., as a source of rev- 
enue. For example, in 1407, Emperor 
Rupert commanded that the Jews be not 
too heavily burdened, lest they be forced 
to emigrate, and the cities so suffer a dimi- 
nution of income; in 1480, Frederick III 
commanded that the Jews of Ratisbon be 
treated in such a manner that they might 
restore their fortunes in five years to an 
extent sufficient to enable them to pay the 
emperor 10,000 gulden. As they were so 

1 6 Old European Jewries. 

great a source of income, the emperor, 
when in need, often sold the Jews of a city 
to princes, counts or bishops for a stipu- 
lated sum, with the understanding that 
thereafter the purchaser was to enjoy the 
income derived from taxing them. He 
sometimes even sold the right to parties 
not connected with the government of 
the cities in which the Jews lived. For 
instance, in 1263, the Jews of Worms 
were turned over to the jurisdiction of the 
bishop of Speyer; in 1279, the Jews of 
the dioceses of Strasburg and Basle, to 
the bishop of Basle.^ 

Often, if the emperor owed money to 
some ruler or bishop, he gave the Jews 
over to him for a number of years, until 
taxes equal to the debt were collected ; or, 
if he was in need of money, he borrowed 
it on the same security ; and if a ruler, 
noble or priest was in debt to the citizens, 
he did the same. The archbishop of 
Mayence was in debt to the citizens of Er- 
furt ; his income from the Jews of Erfurt, 
whose protection or, in other words, the 
right to tax whom, had been transferred 

Early Settlements. 1 7 

to him by the emperor, was 100 marks a 
year ; this income he granted the citizens 
of the city for four years. The emperors 
also often sold to cities the rights over the 
Jews. It was the most convenient manner 
of raising money. It can be well under- 
stood how all this affected the residence 
of the Jews in the cities. They were 
granted the right to dwell there, because 
they were sources of revenue. Otherwise 
they would not have been tolerated long. 
The right of residence in places in which 
they had not yet dwelt was also a privilege 
sold or granted by the emperor. It was, 
indeed, a privilege for a ruler to have Jews 
in his domain, for it meant a certain in- 
come, and as princes were always in need 
of money, this permission to have Jews 
was much sought for. The technical term 
for this permission was Jndccos tcncrc,^^ 
oT Jud^co^ habere^ the right to keep or to 
have Jews. It can be seen how precarious 
their residence everywhere was ; they had 
the right to dwell not as men, but as tax- 
able property on a footing with all other 
sources of income. They had to pay for 

1 8 Old European Jcivries, 

the mere privilege of living, and even then 
had not the freedom to choose their dwell- 
ing place. For the most part, a special 
quarter was assigned to them. 

The conditions of their residence having 
been discussed, the consideration of the 
place of dwelling granted them by their 
masters, the rulers and the peoples of 
European lands, may now be turned to. 



Every possible method to degrade and 
harass the Jews, and mark them off from the 
remainder of the population was invented 
and employed in the dark, mediaeval days. 
Decrees innumerable, regulating the life of 
the Jews and their intercourse with Chris- 
tians, were passed at church council upon 
church council, and incorporated into the 
canon law, and often into civil legislation. 
Laws prohibiting them to hold offices, to 
eat or associate with Christians, to employ 
Christian nurses or servants, to appear on 
the streets during Passion Week, and many 
more of the same kind, were enacted time 
and again. But all such prohibitions, irri- 
tating and troublesome as they were, were 
yet naught compared with two regulations 
which only fiendish ingenuity could have 
invented to crush unfortunates whose only 
crime lay in the fact that the faith they 


20 Old European yewries, 

confessed was a reproach to the claims of 
Christianity. One was the device hit upon 
by Pope Innocent III, decreed by the 
Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, and 
thereupon by every church council of that 
century convened anywhere in Europe — 
from Oxford in England, in 1222, to Buda 
in Hungary, in 1279 — compelling every 
Jew to wear on his clothes a mark, usually 
a piece of yellow cloth, by which he might 
be at once known as a Jew. From that 
time on the Jew was a marked creature. 
The command was received by the unfor- 
tunates with a wail of despair resounding 
throughout Europe. Effort upon effort 
was made to have it revoked or to evade it, 
but all in vain. 1 1 was the will of the church, 
and the Jew had to submit. The other 
device adopted to completely isolate the 
Jews was to shut them up in separate quar- 
ters, originally called victis Judceorunt, 
later known 2c& Judengasse, Judenstrasse or 
Jtidcnviertel in Germany, as Ghetto in 
Italy, 2l% Judiaria in Portugal, ^sjuiverie 
in France, as Carriera in Provence and 
Comtat Venaissin. Here, penned up like 

Institution of the Ghetto. 21 

cattle, they were to live apart from the 
Christians. This systematic exclusion be- 
gan with the fourteenth century. Before 
that time Jews had inhabited quarters by 
themselves, but from choice, not because 
they had been forced into them. 

What a picture the Ghetto recalls ! The 
narrow, gloomy streets, with the houses 
towering high on either side ; the sunlight 
rarely streaming in ; situated in the worst 
slums of the city ; shut off by gates barred 
and bolted every night with chains and 
locks, none permitted to enter or depart 
from sundown to sunrise ! The solution had 
at last been found ; the Jew was effectually 
excluded. The Christian no longer would 
be corrupted and contaminated by the close 
proximity of the followers of the superstitio 
et perfidia Jtidaica, '*the Jewish supersti- 
tion and perfidy." For four centuries this 
lasted. As we to-day renjove the victims 
of a pestilence far away from the inhabited 
portions of our cities, from fear of con- 
tagion, so the Jews were cut off by the^ 
walls of the Ghetto as though stricken 
with some loathsome disease that might 

22 Old European yewrtes. 

carry misery and death unto others if they 
lived in close contact with them. The 
Ghetto has been well stigmatized as a 
"pest-like isolation."^ Speaking of the 
sixteenth century one writer says : ** Stone 
walls arose in all places wherein Jews 
dwelt, shutting off their quarters like 
pesthouses ; the Ghetto had become epi- 

At first, as was said above, this dwelling 
in separate quarters was not compulsory; 
the Jews lived together in their own quar- 
ters before hostile legislation forced them 
into the Ghettos. For this we can assign 
several reasons. One was their fear of 
the remainder of the population, and 
another their esprit de corps. They natur- 
ally felt that if they lived together, they 
could assist one another better in case of 
need. In some instances, in fact, it was 
considered a fayor when the temporal or 
ecclesiastical ruler of a city assigned them 
a quarter in which they would be pro- 
tected, as Bishop Radiger of Speyer did 
in 1084.* According to some histori- 
ans,^ their inhabiting separate quarters 

Institution of the Ghetto. 23 

was due to the fact that in mediaeval 
times people of the same industrial, social 
or commercial class were accustomed to 
dwell together in certain streets, and the 
Jews, forming a separate community whose 
center was the synagogue, naturally lived 
together. Whatever truth there may be 
in this contention (and the strong feeling 
of a common religion and a common past 
did hold the Jews together), there can be 
no doubt that the authorities later enclosed 
them in separate quarters to disgrace 
them and prevent their having too inti- 
mate relations with the Christians. Such 
is the reason given in the decrees, quoted 
in a subsequent chapter, ordering their 
dwelling in separate quarters. 

The names applied to these Jewish quar- 
ters in different countries, noted above, 
are readily explained, with the exception 
of the one now commonly adopted in all 
languages to designate the isolation of the 
Jews in Christian communities, viz., the 
word Ghetto. There have been various 
explanations of the word. Its form points 
to Italian origin, and in truth, it was first 

24 Old European yetvrtes. 

used of the Jewish quarters in Italian cities. 
Italian Jews derived the word, which they 
spelled g-u-e-t'O, from the Hebrew word 
get, *' bill of divorce," finding the idea of 
divorce expressed by the one term, and 
that of exclusion in the other, sufficiently 
analagous to point to a common origin. 
Another explanation connects the word 
Ghetto with the German Gitter, ** bars."^ 
This suggestion has not much in its favor. 
That the Ghetto resembled nothing so 
much as a barred cage is true enough, but 
a likeness of this kind is not sufficient to 
found an etymological explanation upon. 
Still another and more plausible explana- 
tion has been offered for the origin of the 
word. It is traced to Venice, in which a sep- 
arate Jewish quarter existed in 1516. The 
Jewish quarter was called Ghetto, because 
it lay in the vicinity of a cannon foundry, 
which in Italian is termed gheta?^ This 
designation, belonging first only to the 
Venetian Jewry, soon became general. 
Berliner adduces, as an example of simi- 
larly wide application of a special term de- 
rived from a particular locality, the word 

Institution of the Glutto. 2 5 

catacombs, the name of the subterranean 
burial vaults of Rome, derived from the 
first burial place of the kind, which was 
situated ad Catacontbas. I may also men- 
tion the suggestion that the word is an 
abbreviation of the Italian borghetto, small 
burg or quarter.^' 

The fifteenth century may be set as the 
time in which the Ghetto was established y 
as the legal dwelling place of the Jews. 
As mentioned above, before that time they 
had dwelt apart, but the isolation was op- 
tional, at times sought as a privilege. But 
from the fifteenth century on. Ghettos 
became general ; in almost every city in ^^ 
which Jews dwelt, a Ghetto was formed. 
In the next chapter will be given some 
council and papal decrees on the subject. 
At present, it will suffice to take a rapid 
survey of the European lands, to see how 
general the Ghettos were. Comparatively 
few of the cities will be mentioned, for, as 
one, so all. 

In Portugal, even before the fifteenth 
century, in all cities and places in which 
over ten Jews lived, there was a separate 

26 Old European yewries. 

Jewish quarter, known as Jtidiaria. In 
Lisbon, the chief city, there were several 
Judiarias, and in all other cities Jewish 
quarters existed. These Judiarias were 
closed every evening when the bells 
sounded for prayer, and were guarded by 
two watchmen appointed by the king. 
Any Jew found outside of the Judiaria 
after the first three tollings of the bells 
was fined ten liveres, or, according to 
an order of King Dom Pedro, was whip- 
ped through the city, and in case of repe- 
tition of the offense, punished with confis- 
cation of his property. These laws being 
so stringent, the Jews petitioned for their 
amelioration. King Joao I promised to 
lighten their burden, and in 141 2 issued 
new regulations. According to these, every 
Jew over fifteen years of age found out- 
side the Judiaria after the given signal, 
was fined for the first offense five thou- 
sand liveres, for the second ten thou- 
sand, and for the third was publicly whip- 
ped. These laws were made bearable by 
favorable exceptions. For example, if a 
Jew, returning from a distant point, was 

Institution of the Ghetto, 2 7 

delayed beyond the given hour, he was 
not subjected to punishment ; he was 
merely compelled to take the shortest way 
to the Judiaria, and in case it was closed, 
he could spend the night elsewhere.^ 

In Italy the first Ghetto in which the 
Jews were forced to live was established 
in Venice, in March, 1516,^ on the island 
Lunga Spina. The celebrated Ghetto of 
Rome, possibly the worst and most noisome 
of all, was established in 1556, by Pope 
Paul IV Caraffa, of evil memory among 
Jews.^'' With this precedent, the Ghetto 
became a common institution. The other 
Italian cities quickly followed, Turin, Flor- 
ence, Pisa, Ferrara,^^ Genoa,^^ Mantua,^ 
Beneventum^ and Naples. ^° 

In Sicily the Jews were placed in sepa- 
rate quarters, long before it was done in 
the Italian cities. In 1312, Frederick II 
ordered that the Jews of Palermo should 
live apart from the Christians, in fact, out- 
side of the city walls ; they were, however, 
soon after permitted to occupy a quarter 
within the city,^' in the vicinity of the 
town hall and the Augustinian cloister. 

28 Old European ye^vries. 

The Moschita Court adjoining contained 
the synagogue, a hospital and forty-four 

In 1392, the monk Julian obtained per- 
mission, as royal commissioner, to drive 
all Sicilian Jews into Ghettos/^ In Tra- 
pani, the Jewish quarter lay next to the 
city wall. When this needed repairs, the 
citizens wished to put the burden of the 
repairs upon the Jewish community, but 
the government compelled all to share in 
the expense.^^ In Castro a special officer, 
mentioned in a document of the year 141 6, 
had jurisdiction over the Ghetto.^ 

In Germany, the freedom of the Jews 
began to be impaired in the middle of the 
twelfth century, the time at which their 
residence outside of Jewish quarters was 
first forbidden.^* In Cologne they were 
compelled to live in their own quarter as 
early as this. K porta JudcBorum, ''Jews* 
gate," is mentioned in 1206, 2^ proptigna- 
culum Judceortiin, **Jews' bulwark," in 1246. 
According to the Cologne city records of 
the year 1341, the town officer was to have 
the keys of the Jews' gates ; he was to lock 

Institution of the Ghetto. 29 

the gates at sundown, and unlock them at 
prime, for which service the Jews had to 
pay him twenty marks yearly/^ The Jews 
of Ratisbon lived in t\\^ Judenviertel^^^ sep- 
arated from the rest of the city by three 
large and three small gates, locked every 
evening and opened every morning. In 
Nuremberg, in 1349, a special quarter was 
assigned to them, and when their numbers 
had greatly increased, the authorities were 
forced to name certain other streets in 
which they might acquire property/' In 
1460, the Jews of Frankfort were forced 
to leave their dwellings in all portions of 
the city, and live in one assigned street.^ 
Most German cities had t\\^\v Judengasse. 
In Ueberlingen, the street in which the 
Jews lived was so designated. A porta 
fudceorum in Worms is mentioned in 1231. 
To keep stricter watch over the doings of 
the Jews, the archbishop of Treves, in con- 
juction with the civic authorities, concluded 
in 1362 that the Jews should have but three 
gates leading into the streets of the city, 
and that the rest of the gates should be 
walled up. In some cities, the brothels 

30 Old European yewrics. 

were transferred to the Jttdengasse, this 
being regarded as of ill repute. In 1375, 
the council of Schweidnitz, in answer to 
a petition of the Jews, promised that no 
fallen women should thereafter be trans- 
ferred to their street.*' A recent writer 
mentions two Jewish gravestones of the 
year 1379 in Rothenburg an der Tauber 
as reminding him of the days when the 
Jews all dwelt in the Gasse,^^ The Jewish 
quarter of Speyer dates from the year 
1084.*^ At first granted as a privilege, it, 
too, became the enforced dwelling place 
of the unfortunate people. So throughout 
Germany, Austria, Bohemia and Eastern 
lands, the Gasse became an established 
institution. Karl Emil Franzos speaks of 
the Ghetto of his native town as an " out- 
cast quarter, which stretches along the un- 
healthy morasses of the river of our town. 
Pestilential vapors poison the atmosphere, 
which remains gloomy in spite of the 
clearest sunshine." 

The private houses of the Ghettos, not- 
ably in the larger cities, were high and 
narrow, and harbored several families. 

Institution of the Ghetto, 3 1 

However much the Jews* quarters in dif- 
ferent localities may have varied in appear- 
ance, two homes were common to them 
all, the synagogue and " the home of the 
dead." The synagogue was naturally the 
center of the communal life of the Jews ; 
their religion was the bond that joined 
them. In the synagogue, they assembled 
every day for service, and in prayer there, 
they gained the strength and endurance 
necessary to live their lives. Their 
religion was an integral portion of their 
existence, and dominated its every hour. 
Their God was ever in their thoughts, 
and very near unto them. Their religion 
was truly their life. And that other spot 
found in every Ghetto, that last home of 
the mortal frame, too often was the only 
resting place they could hope for. In the 
Ghetto, it was called the "good place," 
and who knows unto how many, during 
the sad days marked by fanaticism, it 
appeared as a good place, better than any 
other earthly habitation. Usually situated 
at the end of the Gasse, the cemetery was 
a common feature of all Jewish quarters. 

32 Old European yrun^ts. 

The Jews found rest in the synagogue and 
in the burying ground ; the one wa^ the 
emblem of the living faith, the undying 
bond that joined the Jews all over the 
earth ; the other, the eternal home of the 
generations that had been steadfast to the 
faith of the fathers, and had been filled 
with the hope of a better and brighter 
future, in which the time of suffering 
would be fulfilled, and their God would 
bring peace and rest to His people, was 
the symbol of fealty in death to the same 
faith. In a measure, that time of surcease 
of suffering has come. The Jews in the 
civilized world are as free as other men. 
God has brought liberty and freedom to 
them. May the myriads who lived, suf- 
fered, prayed, endureil, hoped, and died in 
exclusion, rest in peace ! Their descend- 
ants are enjoying the benefits of that 
better day which they felt sure that the 
God of mercy would bring about, as they 
expressed it, "in His own time." 

There was one other communal house 
in some Jewish quarters, which should be 
referred ta Sad as was their position. 

Instittition of the Ghetto. 2^'Xi 

the Ghetto Jews had their joys and pleas- 
ures, not only in the family circle, but also 
in their communal life. It must not be 
imagined that they continually lived in 
the shadow of exclusion. It was not con- 
stantly present to their thoughts. Years 
and centuries accustomed them to their 
life, and the natural buoyancy of human 
creatures is bound to assert itself. There 
were not always active persecutions, and 
in quiet times, the life of the inhabitants 
of the Ghetto flowed along much as 
life elsewhere does, with its joy and 
sorrow, its happiness and woe, its pleasure 
and grief. For the joyous element, pro- 
vision was made in what was known as 
the " Dance house." The larger com- 
munities, such as those at Frankfort, 
Eger, Augsburg, Rothenburg, etc., had 
their own dance houses, which, besides 
serving the purpose indicated by their 
name, when necessary, may have been 
used as gathering places for more earnest 
occasions. " Here the Jewish girls could 
appear without the two blue stripes on 
their veils, and the men without the dis- 

34 Old European yewries. 

tinguishing mark on their clothes or the 
peaked hat on their heads. "^ It is grati- 
fying to think that there were bright 
spots, too, in that long life of misery, 
separation and exclusion. The very fact 
that the Jews outlived the depression and 
the evils of the cramped Ghetto existence, 
and retained the elasticity of temperament 
which still marks them, speaks volumes 
for the optimism with which their faith 
imbued them. Not all the wrongs and 
ills of centuries could crush the spirit of 
hope that had its well-springs in the words 
of their prophets. A trustful earnestness 
marked them, and tided them over the 
evil times. The evil times that invented 
the Ghetto are, it is to be hoped, gone 
forever; the present, in western Europe 
and in America, at least, is bright with 
the promise of better things. In the cities 
of the western and southern European 
lands, "the Ghetto doors have been re- 
moved ; the Jew is no longer cooped up 
in the worst slums of the city, and sepa- 
rated from his fellow townsmen by gates 
and chains." 



In order that the various motives that 
led to the establishment of the Ghetto or 
Jewish quarter may be better understood, 
some of the original acts of church authori- 
ties and councils ordering the dwelling 
apart of Jews, and stating the reasons 
therefor will be given here. 

Reference has been made several times 
in the foregoing pages to the act of Rildi- 
ger, Bishop of Speyer, by which, in the 
year 1084, he conferred upon the Jews of 
his diocese what were then considered 
privileges. He assigned them a separate 
portion of the city surrounded by a wall, 
gave them their own burying ground, 
granted them jurisdiction in their own 
affairs, etc. This was before the days in 
which the Ghetto was instituted as a mark 
of disgrace, but the document^ is interest- 
ing from the fact that it is the oldest 


36 Old European yewries, 

extant dealing with a distinctly Jewish 

" In the name of the holy and indivisible 
Trinity, when I, Rudiger, also called 
Huozmann, Bishop of Spcycr, changed 
the town of Speyer into a city, I thought 
that I would add to the honor of our 
place by bringing in Jews. Accordingly, 
I located them outside of the community 
and habitation of the other citizens, and 
that they might not readily be disturbed 
by the insolence of the populace, I sur- 
rounded them with a wall. Their place 
of habitation I had acquired in a just 
manner ; the hill partly with money, partly 
by exchange; the valley I had received 
from (some) heirs as a gift. That place, 
I say, I gave over to them on the condi- 
tion that they would pay three pounds 
and a half of the money of Speyer annu- 
ally for the use of the (monastery) 
brothers. Within their dwelling place 
and outside thereof, up to the harbor of 
the ships, and in the harbor itself, I 
granted them full permission to change 
gold and silver ; to buy and sell anything 

Church Legislation. 37 

they pleased, and that same permission I 
gave them throughout the state. In addi- 
tion, I gave them out of the property of 
the church a burial place with hereditary 
rights. I also granted the following 
rights : If any stranger Jew lodge with 
them (temporarily), he shall be free from 
tax. Further, just as the city governor 
adjudicates between the citizens, so the 
head synagogue officer is to decide every 
case that may arise between Jews or 
against them. But if, by chance, he can 
not decide, the case shall be brought 
before the bishop and his chamberlains. 
Night watches, guards, fortifications, they 
shall provide only for their own district, 
the guards, indeed, in common with the 
servants. Nurses and servants they shall 
be permitted to have from among us. 
Slaughtered meat which, according to their 
law, they are not permitted to eat, they 
can sell to Christians, and Christians may 
buy it. Finally, as the crowning mark of 
kindness, I have given them laws better 
than the Jewish people has in any city of 
the German empire. 

38 Old European ycwrtes. 

Lest any of my successors diminish this 
favor and privilege, or force them to pay 
greater tribute, on the plea that they 
acquired their favorable status unjustly, 
and did not receive it from a bishop, I 
have left this document as a testimony of 
the above mentioned favors. And that 
the remembrance of this matter may last 
through the centuries, I have corroborated 
it under my hand and seal, as may be seen 

Given on the fifteenth of September, in 
the year of the Incarnation 1084, in the 
twelfth year since the above mentioned 
bishop commenced to rule in this state." 

This document mentions one peculiarity 
of legislation in regard to the Jews, to 
which a few words may be devoted. The 
bishop states that one of the great favors 
granted the Jews of his diocese was that a 
Jew passing through the city could lodge 
with the Jews during his temporary stay 
without having to pay a tax for the privi- 
lege. In the light of known facts, this 
was, indeed, a noteworthy concession. In 
most German cities a non-resident Jew 

Church Legislation. 39 

was not permitted to stay, even over night ; 
to stop for a longer time was altogether 
out of the question. Other cities granted 
the privilege, but only for a fixed pecu- 
niary consideration. The privileges here 
granted are remarkable*, and the bishop is 
quite correct in his statement that his 
Jews lived under more favorable laws than 
those in any other German city. 

The real reason that prompted church- 
men to legislate that Jews should occupy 
separate quarters is given in the following 
clause taken from the proceedings of the 
ecclesiastical synod held at Breslau in the 
year 1 266 : 

** Since the land of Poland is a new 
acquisition in the body of Christianity, lest 
perchance the Christian people be, on this 
account, the more easily infected with the 
superstition and depraved morals of the 
Jews dwelling among them * * * wc 
command that the Jews dwelling in this 
province of Gnesen shall not live among 
the Christians, but shall have their houses 
near or next to one another in some se- 
questered part of the state or town, so 

40 Old European yewries. 

that their dweUing place shall be sepa- 
rated from the common dwelling place of 

the Christians by a hedge, a wall or a 
ditch. "56 

The third provincial council of Ravenna, 
held in 131 1, desiring to put an end to the 
free commingling of Christians and Jews, 
apparently in vogue in that province, de- 
creed, among other restrictive measures, 
one in regard to the habitation of the Jews : 

"Jews shall not dwell longer than a 
month anywhere, except in those places 
in which they have synagogues. "^^ 

It appears, however, that the commands 
of this council were not very much re- 
spected, for another held in the same place 
in 131 7 deals more stringently with the 
same subject. The fourteenth rubric of 
this council begins, ''Although the Jews 
are tolerated by the church, yet they ought 
not to be tcjjlerated to the detriment or 
severe injury of the faithful; because it 
frequently happens that they return to 
Christians contumely for favors, contempt 
for familiarity. Therefore, the provincial 
council held at Ravenna some time since 

Church Legislation. 41 

{see above), thinking that many scandals 
have arisen from their too free commingling 
with Christians, decreed that they should 
wear a wheel of yellow cloth on their outer 
garments, and their women a like wheel 
on their heads, so that they may be distin- 
guished from Christians," and then it 
continues, in reference to our subject : 
"And Jews shall not dwell longer -than 
a month anywhere except in those places in 
which they have synagogues. But because 
some, not being able to abstain from for- 
bidden things, disregard the sound decree 
of the aforementioned council, and pretend 
ignorance, a penalty shall teach them to 
know how grave an offense it is to dis- 
regard ecclesiastical decrees ; and with the 
approbation of the sacred council, desiring 
to prevent this offense hereafter, we warn 
all clerics as well as laymen of our province, 
and we decree that two months after the 
publication of this decree no one shall 
erect houses for Jews, nor rent or sell 
them any already built, nor under any pre- 
tense grant them (any of their houses), or 
permit them to occupy them. If any one 

42 Old E^iropcan yeivries. 

acts contrary to this, he shall by that very 
deed incur excommunication, from which 

he cannot be absolved until he shall satisfy 

the above mentioned requirements."^ 

In this manner the Jews were to be 
made impossible. Not even a separate 
quarter was granted them. No new settle- 
ment of Jews was to be permitted any- 
where. They had to be satisfied with the 
permission to live, in the province of Ra- 
venna, in places in which they chanced to 
have a synagogue. 

The council of Valencia, in Spain, held 
in 1388, went further, and defined clearly 
the habitations that Jews might occupy. 
Its regulations include Saracens, Jews and 
Saracens being placed in the same cate- 
gory as contaminating Christians. By 
associating with them, " the faithful incur 
serious danger to body and mind," as 
it was put. The church dignitaries ex- 
pressed themselves thus : " We decree, that 
Jews and Saracens shall no longer be per- 
mitted to have houses, inns or other dwel- 
ling places among Christians, nor Chris- 
tians among Jews and Saracens ; but Jews 

Church Legislation. 43 

and Saracens shall confine themselves 
to the limits assigned to them in certain 
cities and places. Where the aforesaid 
Jews and Saracens have not had limits or 
confines of this kind assigned to them for 
habitation, there shall be designated, and 
assigned to them in the aforementioned 
cities and places, certain quarters separated 
froni the habitations of the Christians, 
within which they shall dwell, nor shall 
they be permitted under any circumstances 
to tarry without the said limits. * * * As 
for Christians who shall presume to live 
within the quarters assigned, or to be as- 
signed, to Jews or Saracens, if, within two 
months from the day of publication of 
these orders in the Cathedral church of 
the state or diocese in which they dwell, 
they do not have a care to betake them- 
selves to dwelling among Christians, they 
shall be forced to this by ecclesiastical 
censure. If, two months after the limits 
are set for the Jews and Saracens, or after 
the said limits have been made by the 
decree and will of the king, or other ruler, 
ecclesiastical or temporal, of the state or 

44 Old European yetvrics. 

place, they are unwilling or neglect to retire 
within them, they shall be removed from 
Christian communion."^ 

The general church council of Basle, 
held in 1434, put the matter very clearly, 
when, in its nineteenth session, it decreed, 
among other laws affecting the Jews: 
**That too great converse with them 
(Jews) may be avoided, they shall be com- 
pelled to live in certain places in the cities 
and towns, separated from the dwelling 
place of the Christians and as far from the 
churches as possible/*^ 

The council of Milan, convened in 1565, 
during the papacy of Pius IV, the succes- 
sor of Paul IV, who had, by special decree, 
instituted the Ghetto of Rome, demands in 
strong terms the establishment of Ghettos 
everywhere. The commands of preceding 
councils in this matter had not always met 
with obedience, but the example set by 
the pope himself in forcing the Jews of 
his domain into the terrible Jew quarter 
was emulated everywhere. 

The words of the Milan council on this 
subject are as follows : ** We strenuously 

. Church Legislation. 45 

demand of the rulers that they shall desig- 
nate in the different cities a certain place 
in which Jews shall live-apart from Chris- 
tians. And if Jews have houses of their 
own in (other portions of) the city, they 
(the rulers) shall command them to be 
sold to Christians within six months, in 
actuality and not by any pretended con- 
tract. "«' 

The decrees given require no commen- 
tary. They express explicitly enough the 
reasons why the Jews were relegated to 
separate quarters. They show also the 
development of the sentiments towards 
this people. It is a long way from the 
mild document of Rildiger, of Spcyer, 
which granted them a special district as a 
protection, to the harsh and positive com- 
mands of the councils. 




The best known and most celebrated of 
all the Ghettos of Germany is that of 
Frankfort-on-the-Main. Its history is re- 
markable ; some of the most stirring events 
in German-Jewish history took place there. 

The Jews settled in Frankfort later than 
in most of the German cities. As late as 
1 1 5 2 no J ews lived there. A congregation 
was formed only towards the close of the 
twelfth century. The first authentic notice 
of the presence of Jews in the city is an 
account in an old chronicle of a fight 
between Christians and Jews. 

The Jews of Frankfort stood under the 

direct protection of the emperor up to 

1349, the year in which the city bought 

the right over them, i. e., the right to tax 

them whenever need and occasion required. 

It was in this year, after this acquisition 


Tlie Judengasse of Frankfort. 47 

by the city, that the greatest calamities 
befell the Jews, not only in Frankfort, but 
throughout Germany. The scourge known 
as the Black Death raged throughout Eu- 
rope. Its victims ran up to thousands and 
hundreds of thousands. It is said that the 
Jews escaped its ravages, or at least did 
not succumb in such great numbers as the 
Christian population. The cry was raised 
that Jews had poisoned the wells. Then 
began one of the most terrible persecu- 
tions on record. The reports against 
the Jews were spread from place to place 
by the Flagellants, those bigoted fanatics 
who swept the country like a whirlwind, 
everywhere raising the cry of the guilt of 
the Jews, and inciting the populace to rob 
and exterminate the hated people. Their 
residences were burnt to the ground. The 
Ilamcs that destroyed the Jewish quarter 
spread, and a large portion of Frankfort 
lay in ashes. The whole Jewish commu- 
nity perished ; at least there is no notice 
preserved of any Jews that were saved. 
The ground which they had owned fell to 
the city. In 1360 permission was again 

48 Old Etcropcan Jewries. 

given to Jews to settle in the city. Money 
was needed, and taxable property, all that 
Jews were considered to be, was in de- 
mand. Their condition after the return 
was bearable. They were, as a matter 
of course, not in possession oTf political 
rights, nor could they hold office. They 
were not taxed according to individual for- 
tune, but had to pay a certain yearly sum 
for every Jew, determined upon before- 
hand. No Jews could be members of the 
Rath, the council of citizens that governed 
the affairs of the city. They were not 
admitted into any military organization. 
At this time, in the fourteenth century, 
they could own real estate, and fix their 
residence in any portion of the city. They 
were not yet compelled to dwell in a cer- 
tain street, although there was a so-called 
Jewish quarter, in which most of the Jews 
lived together from choice, for here was 
the synagogue. Christians also lived in 
that quarter, and between 1364 and 1375 
the mayor dwelt there. 

The council passed upon the rights of the 
Jews in so-cdM^d Jude^tordnungen. From 

The yiidengasse of Frankfort, 49 

the beginning of the fifteenth century 
such an act was passed every three years. 
This was a very profitable source of reve- 
nue, for the Jews could not gain right of 
residence for longer than this period, and 
so, every three years, they had to pay 
liberally to have the privilege renewed. It 
was the sword of Damocles continually 
hanging over their heads. The failure to 
have a favorable act passed, of course, 
meant expulsion, but money was all the 
legislators wanted, and by means of money 
the Jews succeeded in renewing the trien- 
nial lease whenever the time expired. 

In the act (^Judenordnung) of 1460, all 
the Jews were commanded to leave the 
homes hitherto occupied by them, and 
dwell together in one street set aside for 
them. This is the decree establishing the 
Judengasse or Ghetto. The decree gives 
as the reason for instituting the Ghetto 
the fact that many Jews lived in the 
neighborhood of the chief church of the 
city, and this proximity was looked upon 
as a contamination and a desecration. 
It was nothing short of an affront to 

50 Old European Jczvries, 

the Christian religion for Jews to hold 
their services so near a church, since the 
noise that the Jews made in chanting 
during their devotions disturbed the 
Christian service. Furthermore, it was 
shameful that Jews should view the holy 
host, and hear the church songs, as owing 
to the nearness of their dwellings to the 
church they could, and, therefore, the 
Jews and their synagogue not only had to 
be removed from such dangerous prox- 
imity to the holy building of the Christ- 
ians, but, what was more, they had to be 
relegated to some portion of the city, and 
be shut off by themselves, so that all inter- 
course between them and the Christians 
might be impossible. There was to be no 
unduly close intimacy, lest the baneful 
influence of the Jews result in harm to the 
Christians with whom they might . come 
into contact. 

As early as 1442, the council had been 
ordered by Emperor Frederick III to 
pass this decree, but it had refused to 
obey his mandate. In 1458, the order 
was repeated, and the council did his 

The Judcngasse of Frankfort. 5 1 

bidding. The quarter of the city to be 
inhabited by the Jews was designated. 
In 1460, work was begun on the new 
fudengasse, and in 1462 the Jews were 
compelled to occupy it. It lay in a sparsely 
inhabited portion of the city, and was 
separated from the nearest dwellings of 
the Christians in such a manner that the 
Jews dwelt in a completely secluded por- 
tion. It lay on the border between the 
old and the new city, on a part of the 
dried-up city-moat which ran along the 
wall of the old city. Ry this wall it was 
separated from the old city; by another 
wall, recently erected, from the new city. 
It had three entrances, one at the begin- 
ning of the street, another at the end, and 
the third in the middle of the wall. The 
first two connected it with the new city, 
the third with the old. 

It must not for a moment be imagined 
that the Jews accepted this decree with 
equanimity. Up to this time they had 
lived on a friendly footing with their 
neighbors, and now to be shut up like 
marked creatures in a pen, locked every 

52 Old European Jcivries. 

night, filled them with dismay. They tried 
by every means to ward off the crushing 
blow. Why, why should they be forced 
to leave the dwellings they had hitherto 
occupied? They had been law-abiding, 
harmless. They addressed a petition to 
the council, in which, with the eagerness 
of despair, they begged that the decree be 
revoked, urging reasons, the strongest they 
could find, why this dreaded order should 
not be carried into effect. In their peti- 
tion they said that the street appointed 
for their dwelling would be so completely 
separated from the city by the city wall 
that if they needed help, the city would 
not be able to assist them, and on the 
other side lived only gardeners and people 
employed in the woods by the day. Of 
late, too, the Jews had been mocked, and 
stoned, and threatened with violence in 
the streets into which the gates of the 
Ghetto led; how much more would this 
be the case if in the future they were com- 
pelled to go through those very streets 
whenever they went outside of their 
"street." Besides, in so isolated a region, 

The yudengasse of Frankfort. 53 

they would be exposed, at the time of the 
two messcn or fairs, to the abuse and rob- 
bery of the many strangers who came to 
the city on those occasions. At the close 
of the petition, they offered, in order to 
invalidate the chief reason urged for their 
removal from their present homes, to have 
the gate opposite the church closed, to 
content themselves in the future with the 
one exit on the opposite side, to build a 
high wall about their present dwellings, 
and back of them a second, to sell all the 
houses standing in the vicinity of the 
church, and rent houses on the opposite 
side, and even to be satisfied to have the 
entrance to the street on that side put 
under lock and key. 

All this they offered in order that they 
might maintain their self-respect and pre- 
vent the carrying out of the terrible meas- 
ure which was to make of them, in a more 
aggravated sense than hitherto, a people 
apart. In spite of petition and appeal 
they did not succeed. All the offers they 
made did not assist their cause. Away 
from the association with their fellow-men 

54 Old Etiropcan yewries. 

to the narrow, closed-up ** street;" away 
from the enjoyment of God's light and air 
to the sunless, close atmosphere of the 
Gasse ; away from house and home to the 
prison-like tenements in which for well- 
nigh four centuries mind and body were 
to be stunted ! The unfortunates had a 
premonition, as it were, of the terrible ef- 
fects of this latest outrage perpetrated by 
Christian legislation. In 1462 they were 
compelled to remove from their dwellings 
into the new street selected for them ; it 
was termed at once New Egypt, because 
the enforced settling of the Jews there 
showed them to be slaves of the Chris- 
tians, even as their fathers had been of the 
Egyptians. Truly an apt comparison, for 
the institution of the Ghetto marked the 
beginning of a new slavery, and demon- 
strated once again to the devoted people 
how powerless they were, and how com- 
pletely at the mercy of their masters. 
They were made to feel that contact with 
them was an abomination. Wherever they 
gazed the word ''excluded" met their 
eyes — excluded from civic privileges, ex- 

The yudengasse of Frankfort. 55 

eluded from political office and honor, 
excluded from the trades, excluded from 
the army, and now excluded from free 
contact and conversation with others, as 
though their touch was unholy, and their 
proximity a curse. 

The houses in the Gasse had been 
erected by the city, also the synagogue, 
the bath-house, the dance-hall and the 
Jewish inn. On the other hand, all the 
houses in which Jews had dwelt became 
the property of the city, without compen- 
sation to the owners, other than the use 
of those assigned to them in their new 
street. These houses were by no means 
given to them as their property ; for the 
privilege of inhabiting them they had to 
pay an annual sum into the city treasury. 
One hundred and fifty years later the 
houses of the Judengasse were at last de- 
clared to be the property of their tenants, 
but not the ground whereon they stood, 
and in place of the house-rent, which they 
had had to pay formerly, they now had to 
pay ground -rent. After 1465 all new 
buildings in the Gasse had to be erected 
at the expense of the Jews. 

56 Old Europea7i yewries. 

It was a most gloomy street, twelve feet 
broad, in its widest portion fifteen or six- 
teen feet. A wagon could not turn in it, 
and, that the great confusion incident upon 
the many stoppages thus caused might be 
avoided, the city council had the middle 
entrance widened. The Gasse contained 
one hundred and ninety houses, built very 
close together, some of them very high 
and containing many souls, the one hun- 
dred and ninety houses harboring four 
hundred and forty-five families. In each 
house there were two or three families, 
and as the community consisted of between 
twenty-five hundred and four thousand 
persons, each house contained, on an av- 
erage, between thirteen and twenty per- 
sons. On account of the extreme nar- 
rowness of the street and the height of 
the buildings on either side, the tops 
of the buildings seemed almost to touch 
each other. The sun had little oppor- 
tunity to penetrate here, and in this con- 
finement the people were compelled to 
spend their lives. They were forced not 
only to live here ; they could not leave 

The Judcngasse of Frankfort, 5 7 

their ** street" even for recreation. The 
rest of the city was closed to them. Every 
night they were locked in. The gates at 
the entrances of the Gasse were bolted at 
sundown, and not opened till morning, 
and on Sundays and all Christian and Jew- 
ish holidays they were kept bolted all day. 
Only in the most urgent cases was any one 
permitted to go outside of the "street," 
and then only by a small door, built in each 
gate. It might seem that all means of ex- 
cluding and degrading these people had 
been exhausted by shutting them up. But 
no ! the inventiveness of the legislators 
went further. At no time were the Jews 
to breathe the same fresh air with the citi- 
zens of the city. In spite of their dark, 
close, unhealthy dwelling place, they could 
not go forth in leisure hours to walk on 
the public promenades. By special legis- 
lation it was enacted that no Jew should 
walk in the Stadt Alice, the public pleas- 
ance, the only place in the city, at that 
time, for promenading. When, somewhat 
later, the moats and ramparts surround- 
ing the city were converted into squares 

58 Old E^iropean yewries. 

planted with trees and flowers, the Jews 
were not permitted to use them, but had 
to confine themselves to the path leading 
to them. Can ingenuity go further in 
fastening the marks of disgrace on an un- 
fortunate community ? They were forbid- 
den not only to live in the locality which 
they might prefer, but to enjoy the invig- 
orating air of God, a right denied not even 
to the beasts of the field. 

There were, too, some streets of the city, 
to say nothing of the public squares, that 
they scarcely dared tread upon. So, for 
example, they were absolutely forbidden 
to walk across the Pfarrcisen, that is, the 
spot adjoining the chief church, or through 
the thoroughfares (employed as passages) 
leading to other churches, or over the 
so-called Holz und Zimmergraben. If a 
Jew presumed to walk on any of these 
forbidden places, his hat was snatched 
from his head by passers-by. The Roemer- 
berg, the space in front of the Rocmer or 
RathhauSy they could use only at the time 
of the fairs (messeit), and then only on the 
east side, the side opposite the city hiill. 

The yudengasse of Frankfort, 59 

Yes, there was one occasion on which the 
contamination of the Jew's presence was 
suffered even on the side of the space on 
which the city hall stood. That was when 
the Jews, on New Year's Day, entered the 
city hall with their gift of fine spices, 
which they were expected to give to every 
councilman, to express their allegiance to 
the city fathers, and to convey their grati- 
tude for the precious privilege of being 
cramped in a dark, gloomy, unhealthy 
spot. This was the only occasion on which 
a Jew could enter the hall from the front ; 
if, at any other time, he had business that 
required his presence in the city hall, he 
had to enter from the rear. 

Not only were there certain districts of 
the city in which Jews were forbidden 
to appear, but even on the streets on which 
it was understood that they might walk, 
they were not free from the abuse and 
insults of the populace. The cry of hep! 
hep! resounded whenever the unfortu- 
nates showed themselves. They were 
chased through the streets; stones and 
mud were flung at them, and they dared 

6o Old Htiropea^i yewries. 

not retaliate. Three years after their 
transfer to the Gasse, the city council 
issued a special law forbidding any one 
to strike Jews, or assail them with in- 
sulting epithets on the streets. Such 
laws, however, were of little avail. The 
Jews were considered public property as 
far as the right to revile, abuse, and tor- 
ment was concerned. Every street urchin 
looked upon the Jew as a subject for ridi- 
cule, and the most venerable, the wisest 
and the most learned Jew was compelled 
to take off his hat before any Christian 
gamin who called out *'Jud\ mack mores / 
Jtid\ mack mores/'' That in spite of 
all these abuses and hardships Jews re- 
mained in Frankfort proves that they 
were subjected to the same treatment in 
other places, and were willing to submit 
to outrages upon honor for the mere per- 
mission to live in any quarter, however 
uninviting. They had to be thankful for 
this privilege, and were happy if the insults 
and abuses were not aggravated into rob- 
bery, pillage and murder. 

^\i^ Judengasse of Frankfort mirrors in 

The yudengasse of Frankfort, 6i 

its story and in the vicissitudes of the lives 
of its inhabitants the sad, heartrending and 
tragic history of the Jews of Europe in 
the centuries during which it existed. The 
waves of persecution passed over it, the 
fires of oppression played about it, the 
stones of religious hatred battered it, but 
still the Jew lived on, toiled on, suffered 
on. The two most calamitous affairs in 
the Gasse were the Pfeflerkorn and Fett- 
milch incidents, and because they are 
typical of like incidents elsewhere, and 
left a deep impress on the community, a 
short account of them will not be out of 
place in the history of the Judengasse of 

John Pfefferkorn was a converted Jew. 
He had been a butcher and, as common 
report had it, had been discovered in the 
act of stealing. After his conversion to 
Christianity, like so many of the same ilk, 
he proceeded to vilify his former co-reli- 
gionists in order to give evidence of zeal 
for his new religion. It is supposed that 
he was the tool of the Dominicans of 
Cologne, whose palms itched for Jewish 

62 Old European Jewries. 

wealth, chief among them behig Jacob van 
Hoogstraten, the grand inquisitor. Begin- 
ning with the year 1507, Pfefiferkorn issued 
a number of writings against the Jews. In 
that year appeared his Judenspicgely in 
which he 'heaps accusations upon the Jews, 
and shows what is necessary to convert 
them to Christianity. One of the means 
he mentions points to his later course of 
action. He says that all the books of the 
Jews, the Talmud, prayer-books, all except 
the Bible, should be taken from them and 
destroyed, for they are the source of their 
obstinacy, being directed against Christi- 
anity. The next year witnessed the pub- 
lication of his diatribe, ** The Confessions 
of the Jews," and in 1509 appeared his 
pamphlet, ** The Enemy of the Jews," in 
^ which he again made an attack on Jewish 
books. These publications against the 
Jews were undoubtedly intended to pre- 
pare the public mind for active steps 
against them. Through the recommenda- 
tion of Cunigunda, abbess of a convent in 
Munich, Pfefferkorn obtained an interview 
with her brother. Emperor Maximilian, 

The Judcngasse of Frankfort 63 

whom he induced to issue an order com- 
manding the Jews to deliver to him (Pfeffer- 
korn) all books containing anything against 
Christianity, against the Pentateuch, or 
the Prophets. He was to be sole judge, 
and his authority was to extend through- 
out the empire. On his return from Padua, 
before which the emperor was encamped, 
Pfefferkorn stopped at Stuttgart to see the 
celebrated scholar, John Reuchlin, whom 
he hoped to induce to help him in execut- 
ing the order. In this, however, he did not 
succeed, as the great humanist, although 
he expressed approval of the suppression 
of books that vilified the Christian religion, 
excused himself from engaging in the 
work. Pfefferkorn, baffled in his purpose 
of obtaining the assistance and counte- 
nance of Germany's greatest scholar, pro- 
ceeded alone on his journey, and began 
operations at Frankfort. On Friday, the 
28th of September, the eve of the Feast 
of Tabernacles, he appeared in the syna- 
gogue with three priests and two town- 
councilors. In spite of the protests of the 
Jews, he seized all the books he could lay 

64 Old European Jewries. 

hold of. The next day he was to search 
the privatie houses, but the Jews objected 
so vehemently against the desecration of 
the Sabbath that it was put off till Monday. 
They saw and felt the danger coming. 
They knew that this confiscation of books 
was only an introduction to the assaults 
on property and life bound to follow, al- 
though, at the time, they did not know 
that Pfefferkorn was hand in glove with 
the Dominicans, nor of the designs of the 
latter upon the wealth of the Jews. Ex- 
cited by the confiscation, and divining what 
might follow, they put forth every effort 
to have Pfefferkorn's proceedings checked. 
With the aid of the archbishop, whose dig- 
nity had been affronted, because he had 
not been consulted, they succeeded in ob- 
taining a stay of the proceedings. Nothing 
daunted, Pfefferkorn again visited the em- 
peror, and succeeded in obtaining a second 
order, more explicit than the first. It 
named the committee of inquiry to look 
into the Jewish books, and among its mem- 
bers were Hoogstraten, the grand inquis- 
itor of the Dominican order; John Reuch- 

The Jtcdengasse of Frankfort, 65 

lin, and Victor von Carben, "formerly a 
rabbi and now a priest." To the great 
surprise of the conspirators, Reuchlin de- 
clined to serve, and wrote a defense of all 
Jewish books except such as contained di- 
rect aspersions on Christianity. In it, he 
told, in rather plain words, his opinion of 
Pfefferkorn. The Jews were saved, as the 
fight was now on between Reuchlin and 
the Pfefferkorn party, that is, the Domi- 
nicans. Publications containing most bitter 
recriminations appeared on both sides. 
The friends of the two parties took up 
the cudgels, too, and the result was that 
Pfefferkorn was so belabored that he ex- 
posed himself to the ridicule of all times. 
The greatest satire of the Middle Ages, the 
EpistolcB Obscurorum Virorum appeared 
anonymously at this time. These letters 
arc supposed to be the production of 
Crotus Rubianus and Ulrich von Hutten. 
The Dominicans, who were supposed to 
have inspired the actions of Pfefferkorn to 
advance their ulterior designs against the 
Jews, are ridiculed in the sharpest possible 
manner. Pfefferkorn, too, comes in for 

66 Old European Jewries. 

his share of satirical notice, ridicule and 
abuse. So, for once, the enemy of the 
Jews was baffled. What had promised to 
be the beginning of persistent outrages 
upon' the Jews — for the confiscation of 
their books would have led to serious evils 
and outbreaks — was nipped in the bud by 
the fortunate refusal of Reuchlin to have 
anything to do with the work inaugurated 
by Pfefferkorn. The Jews emerged from 
what was unquestionably a great difficulty 
with the loss of nothing more than what 
money may have been ' required to bribe 
the archbishop and the town councilors to 
stay the proceedings in the first instance. 
That they were frightened, we can readily 
believe. The immediate steps they took 
saved them. 

The other incident to which reference 
was made above was much more serious 
in its consequences. The guilds in Frank- 
fort were always very strong. They had 
a particular animosity against the Jews, 
and were continually laboring to effect 
their expulsion from the city. Not suc- 
ceeding in this, an attack on the Jewish 

The yudengasse of Frankfort. 67 

quarter was determined upon. The leader 
was a baker, Vincent Fettmilch. On Au- 
gust 22, 1640, the attack was made. The 
Jews, having been warned, did not quietly 
wait for the attack, but made preparations 
to resist. They procured arms, removed 
their wives and children to the cemetery for 
refuge, locked the gates that led into their 
street, and barricaded the gate upon which 
the attack was expected. They then pro- 
ceeded to the synagogue, and prayed and 
fasted. While assembled there, they heard 
the blows upon the gates and the angry 
cries of the mob. In terror they poured 
out of the synagogue, men and youths tak- 
ing up arms to defend themselves. The 
mob, foiled by the barricade of the gate, 
broke into the street througfh a house 
which stood next to the gate. A bitter 
fight of eight hours followed ; two Jews 
and one Christian were killed, and many 
wounded. The Jews, few in number, were 
gradually overcome. Then began a fearful 
scene of plunder and destruction. The mob 
rushed into the houses. They had pro- 
ceeded about half way through the street 

68 Old European yezvries. 

when a band of armed citizens appeared 
and drove them out. The Jews, thor- 
oughly frightened, hastened to seek ref- 
uge in their cemetery, situated at the end 
of the GassCy in which they had placed their 
wives and children. They were advised 
by the town council to leave the city, since 
it could not protect them. On the next 
day, they did this, and for one year and a 
half they remained away from the city, and 
lived in the neighboring towns. In the 
meantime, order had been restored, and 
steps were taken looking to the return of 
the Jews. The leaders of the mob, Fett- 
milch and six others, were beheaded. On 
the very day that this took place, February 
28, 1 61 6, the Jews returned. Their return 
was celebrated with music. When they 
arrived in front of the Gasse, they were 
formed into a circle, and the ntvf Juden- 
ordnung, drawn up by the imperial com- 
missioners, was read to them. The town 
council having shown itself so powerless 
to guard them, the protection of the Jews 
reverted to the emperor ; they once again 
became his private property. After their 

The ytidcngassc of Frankfort. 69 

return into their "street," a large shield 
was placed upon each of the three gates, 
upon which was painted the imperial eagle 
with the inscription, "Under the protec- 
tion of the Roman Imperial Majesty and 
of the Holy Empire." Strange to say, the 
Christian population was compelled by 
imperial mandate to pay the Jews 175,919 
florins indemnity for the loss they had 
sustained. I n memory of these events, the 
Jewish congregation of Frankfort annually 
celebrated two events, the 19th of Adar, 
as a fast day commemorative of their de- 
parture from the city, and the 20th as a 
holiday, called Purim Fettmilch, in memory 
of their return. 

The next event of great importance was 
the complete destruction of the Gasse by 
fire in 1711. The population had greatly 
increased, but the space for habitation was 
not enlarged. The number of houses did 
not increase, and the one hundred and 
ninety houses that, in a former day, had 
sheltered but two thousand persons, were 
now the homes of some eight thousand, ac- 
cording to the smallest calculation the Jew- 

70 Old European Jeivries. 

isli population at this time. Each house, 
therefore, on an average harbored forty- 
one persons. The Gasse is an example 
of the worst evils of the tenement system. 
On January 14, 171 1, fire broke out in the 
house of the chief rabbi, which stood in 
the middle of the ''street." The cause of 
the fire was never discovered. It wiped 
out the Jewish quarter completely, and 
was called the great Jewish conflagration, 
in contradistinction to the great Christian 
conflagration eight years later. The Chris- 
tian population, as soon as the fact of the 
raging of the fire became known, hurried 
to the Gasse to give assistance. But the 
Jews, in an agony of terror, and remem- 
bering former days, had locked the gates 
for fear of plunder, and kept them closed 
for an hour. When, at last, they opened 
them the flames had gained great head- 
way. The fire spread throughout the 
quarter, and with the exception of three 
houses standing at the extreme end of the 
street, everything was destroyed. The 
Jews, now homeless, had to look about for 
shelter. Some were harbored in Christian 

The yudengasse of Prankfort yt 

houses. After the "street" was rebuilt, 
they lingered in these houses with the 
hope that they might be permitted to re- 
main outside the Gasse, and have freedom 
of residence, but they were all ordered 
back in 1716. Some who could not find 
shelter in the city, settled in neighboring 
towns, until their homes were rebuilt, 
while the very poor were placed, by the 
town council, in a hospital, to sojourn 
there until their dwelling places were re- 
stored. The rebuilding began almost at 
once. The synagogue was completed by 
the autumn of the same year. It stood 
until 1854, when the large and beautiful 
building, dedicated in i860, was built in its 
place. By the year 171 7 all the houses 
were rebuilt. In the process of recon- 
struction the street was widened by four 
feet, so that it was twenty feet wide. 
Houses of not more than three stories 
were permitted to be built, but most of 
them had gables. Back buildings one 
story higher were erected, hence the yards 
were very small, but by decree each house 
had to be six feet from the wall along the 

72 Old Etiropean JiTLvrics. 

back of the Gassc, On the houses they 
were compelled to place signs, with pecul- 
iar figures and names, so that they were 
known as the house of the bear, the 
dragon, of the white, green, red, black 
shield, etc. The inhabitants were desig- 
nated according to these figures, e. g. the 
Jew N. N. zum Bar en, etc. The Roth- 
schild family received its name from the 
red shield that marked its house. 

The " street " again suffered from fire in 
1774 and in 1796. In the former instance 
twenty-one houses were destroyed. The 
inhabitants rented houses without the 
Gasse for two years until their homes were 
rebuilt, when they again had to return. In 
the latter year, the fire assumed larger 
dimensions, and one hundred and forty 
houses were destroyed. This was during 
the bombardment of the city by the French 
under Kleber, July 12 to 14. This por- 
tion, called Bornheimer Strasse, was soon 
rebuilt, and very greatly improved by 
being widened and having fine buildings 
erected upon it. 

The Jttdcngasse was now approaching 

The y^tdcngassc of Frankfort 73 

its end. Better days were beginning to 
dawn for the Jews. The breath of free- 
dom and emancipation characteristic of the 
close of the last and the beginning of this 
century was wafted upon them, too. In 
1806, Frankfort and some neighboring 
districts were placed under the jurisdic- 
tion of the enlightened and kindly Karl 
Theodor von Dalberg, the Filrst Przmas. 
He took great interest in the improve- 
ment of the Jews of his domain, and 
assisted them greatly in their efforts 
towards self-advancement, in the founding 
of schools, and the like. In 181 1 he 
granted them full rights of citizenship, 
but in the reaction that ensued shortly 
after, he was deprived of his rule, and the 
Jews lost the rights he had granted them. 
After the fall of Napoleon and the con- 
sequent relapse into media^valism and me- 
diaeval legislation against the Jews in 
the German states and cities, the Jews 
of Frankfort suffered, too. The hep-hep 
cry again resounded in the streets, the 
Jewish houses were attacked, the Jews 
driven from the promenades. In conse- 

74 Old European yeivries. 

quence of these disturbances many Jewish 
families left the city. The second and 
third decades of this century were a gloomy 
time for the Jews of Germany ; the eman- 
cipation question was uppermost, and gal- 
lantly did the Jewish champions, headed 
by Gabriel Riesser, conduct the struggle. 
In this agitation the Jews of Frankfort 
were likewise concerned, and in 1848 they 
once again gained the right of citizenship, 
but in 1850 they lost it, to receive it a 
third time in 1864. Since then they have 
retained it, and, of course, as far as politi- 
cal rights are concerned, are now on an 
equal footing with all citizens of the Ger- 
man Empire. 

A few words more about the Gasse. 
Even after it had been rebuilt after the 
great fire of 1711, it was as gloomy and 
cheerless as it had been. The high, gabled 
houses built so close together naturall)' 
kept out all sunlight and air. So it con- 
tinued — except in the western portion, 
which was burnt in 1796, and rebuilt, as 
stated above — until the year 1830, when a 
large number of the houses were con- 

The ytidengasse of Frankfort, 75 

demned by the city authorities because of 
their ruinous condition, and their removal 
from both sides of the street produced 
empty spaces through which the air could 
circulate. As soon as the note of emanci- 
pation was struck, in the beginning of the 
century, many Jews removed from the 
GassCy nor were they compelled to return 
thither. The empty houses were rented, 
and occupied by the poorer classes of 
Christians, so that, except in name and 
memory, it was no longer distinctively tlic 
Jtidengasse, the Jewish quarter. Two of 
the houses were of especial interest, that 
in which Lob Baruch, or, as he is known 
in German literature, Ludwig Borne, was 
born, and the ancestral home of the Roth- 
schild family. 

About ten years ago, the houses in the 
old portion of the street fell in because of 
age and decay. They were demolished and 
removed, with the exception of the Roth- 
schild house. This portion of the street 
was then broadened to a width equal to 
that of Dornhcimer Strasse, the section of 
the old street which had been improved 

76 Old Ettropean Jcivries. 

and widened in the early part of the cen- 
tury, and the two portions became one 
street, the present Barne Strasse, a wide 
thoroughfare, possessing no similarity to 
the old, narrow Gasse. A great portion of 
the street remains to be built up. The old 
wall that separated the street in the early 
days from the old quarter of the city is still 
standing ; a street leading to Borne Strasse 
has been broken through it. 

One important relic of the old time is 
still preserved ; at the very end of what is 
now Borne Strasse, and what was formerly 
the Judengasse, enclosed by a high wall, 
and hidden from the view of the passer-by, 
lies the old cemetery^^ of the Frankfort 
Jewish congregation, containing, with the 
exception of some in the cemetery at 
Worms, the oldest epitaph in western 
Europe. This was the spot to which the 
Jews removed their wives and children and 
helpless ones during the persecutions and 
the attacks made on the Gasse by the 
mobs.^^ The cemetery is now in a sad 
state of neglect; many of the stones 
have fallen to the ground, and lie in 

The yudengasse of Frankfort, JJ 

great confusion, and many are beginning 
to crumble. In the eastern end of the 
graveyard the graves are thick and close 
together. Near the entrance there are 
but few tombstones, only a number of 
small groups, here and there. This is ex- 
plained by the surmise that the eastern 
portion was set aside for the burial of 
Frankfort Jews, while the smaller groups 
of graves are those of small communi- 
ties in the vicinity of Frankfort, which 
made use of this burying ground for the 
interment of their dead. The cemetery 
is large, and contains over six thousand 
tombstones. The inscriptions on these 
stones offer much material to the student 
of Jewish history and customs. " Of the 
immense store which the cemetery at 
Frankfort-on-the-Main offers, only a slight 
portion has been published."^ This state- 
ment is true, but all the inscriptions have 
been copied through the instrumentality 
of Dr. Horowitz, the rabbi of the new 
synagogue overlooking the old cemetery. 
He has collated them, and ere long the 
learned world may be enriched by their 

78 Old European Jewries. 

publication. The earliest tombstone in 
the cemetery dates from the year 1272; 
the last burial took place in 1828, when 
the town council decreed that it should 
be no longer used for purposes of burial, 
and that it should lie undisturbed for one 
hundred years. The graves are two and 
three deep, perhaps more, the surface 
having been covered over with additional 
layers of earth' whenever the available space 
had been used. This appears from two 
facts: in the first place, the burial ground 
proper is higher than the adjacent walks ; 
and there are often two or three stones 
on the same grave. The stones are of red 
sandstone, with the exception of the oldest, 
which are gray. These have stood the 
wear of time best ; they are still thoroughly 
well preserved, while many of the later 
ones are crumbling. The inscriptions are 
for the most part legible, and some of the 
stones display very artistic work, the sign 
of the house in which the departed had 
lived often being carved on them,** so that 
there are stones ornamented with figures 
of dragons, bears, lions, stars, and the like. 

Tlie Judengasse of Frankfort, 79 

The most beautiful piece of work is on a 
stone belonging to a family Trach {draclie) 
— a dragon most artistically hewn, and 
sculptured flowers on the rim. 

Very celebrated rabbis lie buried here, 
in fact, all the rabbis of the Frankfort con- 
gregation, among them the author of the 
celebrated P'ne YcJwshuah and P.abbi 
Pinchas Hurwitz.^ 

Walking through this cemetery, where 
now all is peace and rest and quiet, I could 
not but think of the terrible days of the 
past, and the scenes this spot had wit- 
nessed, and there arose before me the 
vision of the hundreds of unfortunates, 
who, in that terrible night of September 
I, 1614, during the Fettmilch attack, were 
massed in the " home of the dead," about 
the graves of their fathers. When all op- 
position was seen to be fruitless, the men 
repaired to the place to which, in the ear- 
lier period of the affray, they had moved 
their wives and children. All hope seemed 
cut off. " We will sanctify the name of 
God," cried they. They donned their 
shrouds, and determined to meet death 

8o Old European Jcivrics. 

rather than disgrace. They prepared them- 
selves for the supreme moment by giving 
voice to the confession of their sinfulness 
and their belief in the divine justice. With 
terror and trembling they awaited the 
dawning of another day. A report came 
to their ears that the mob had disagreed. 
Yes, it was true ; by the aid of the town 
council they made their escape from the 
cemetery, and with their bare lives, home- 
less, houseless, they left Frankfort to seek 
shelter in the surrounding towns. ^^ 

A troubled vision of the night of the 
past, by contrast making the present all 
the brighter ! 

To return now to the Ghetto : The 
houses of the Gasse were all very much 
alike. They were frame, with the excep- 
tion of one stone house. On account of 
the gloom of the street they were very 
dark inside. Some points of their inner 
construction furnish eloquent testimony of 
the times in which they were built and the 
continual fear of attack and persecution in 
which their occupants lived. Many of the 
houses had no steps leading to the roof, 

The Judengasse of Frankfort. 8i 

only a ladder, which could be pulled up 
by those who had (led to the roof from 
their pursuers. For a like reason, namely, 
protection in time of danger from the out- 
breaks of mobs, the cellars of neighboring 
houses were connected by doors, concealed 
by cupboards. Through these doors the 
occupants of the houses, if hard pressed, 
could flee into the cellar of the adjoining 
residence. Thank God that such precau- 
tions are no longer necessary ! In the new 
and better time, the Jew is not marked off 
by his place of residence ; justice being 
done, the marks of oppression have disap- 
peared. The fudengasse of Frankfort is 
no more. The memories of the days of 
persecution are permitted to sink into ob- 
livion. The veil of forgiveness has been 
dropped over them by those so deeply 
wronged, and in this new time the Jews of 
Frankfort have assimilated themselves 
with their fellow citizens, and stand on an 
equal footing with them in all civic in- 



To the tourist visiting the city of Prague, 
by far the most interesting spot in this 
gloomy, gray place is the old Jewish quar- 
ter lying on the right bank of the river 
Moldau, of old designsited yuric^is^ari^, but 
now known as Joscfstadt. This ancient 
quarter with its narrow streets, its old 
synagogues, its burying ground famed in 
story, its town hall reminiscent of the days 
when the Jewish administrative body ex- 
ercised judicial functions, its legends, its 
historv, cannot but awaken a mournful 
train of thought in him who, permitting 
his mind to dwell on the past, recalls the 
sad, sad fate of this Ghetto, with one ex- 
ception probably the oldest Jewish settle- 
ment north of the Alps. Not a single 
street, as in Frankfort, but a whole section 
of the city did the Jewish quarter of Prague 

comprise. It is standing much as it was, 


The yudenstadt of Prague, 83 

but it is no longer the compulsory dwelling 
place of Jews, although largely inhabited 
by them. Many Christians, especially 
of the poorer classes, now dwell there too. 
The walls and gates, which in the old days 
separated the Jewish quarter from the re- 
mainder of the city, have disappeared, but 
the spot in which they stood is still pointed 
out. The streets scarcely deserve to be 
called such, so narrow, crowded, dark and 
gloomy are they. The houses on either 
side tower aloft, shutting out the sunlight, 
so that even on a bright day the lanes rest 
in shadow. Many stirring scenes have 
these streets witnessed. Had the stones 
tongues, what stories could they tell of 
mobs and plunder, of persecution and 
murder, of incendiarism and robbery, of 
fight and strife, of bravery and martyr- 
dom, of silent suffering and heroic endur- 
ance ! The history of the Jewish commu- 
nity of Prague dates from days long past, 
through many centuries, during which it 
proudly claimed to be the greatest and 
most important congregation in Europe. 
Great names of celebrated rabbis, writers 

84 Old European Jewries. 

and heroes, shed lustre over that old 
/iidenstadi, and make it shine with a glory 
that will never fade. Dark spots there 
are, too, of superstition, for there is no 
Jewish community in the world so full of 
superstitions, legends and traditions as 
this of Prague, but these gradually disap- 
pear in the light of investigation, while the 
true and great things there thought and 
accomplished live on forever. 

The early history of the Jews of Prague 
is shrouded in mystery. Concerning the 
time when they first settled in the city, or 
entered Bohemia, there is no authentic in- 
formation. The statement that a flourish- 
ing Jewish community existed in Prague 
during the time of the second Temple 
must be regarded as purely legendary. 
That there were many Jews in Prague 
during the earliest Christian centuries may 
be true, but there is no contemporary evi- 
dence of the fact ; that Jews may have 
lived in the city in quite ancient times is 
very possible, but the date of their first 
entrance into the land and their earliest 
settlement cannot be fixed. There can be 

The yudenstadt of Prague^ 85 

no doubt that Jews lived in Bohemia and 
in Prague in heathen times, before the 
introduction of Christianity in the tenth 
century.^ Their first settlement lay on 
the left bank of the river Moldau. When 
their numbers increased and their quarters 
became too small, they were assigned, in 
all likelihood in the eleventh century, a 
new and larger dwelling place on the right 
bank of the river, the present Josef stadt. 
The Jews were not compelled to live in 
this one section. They dwelt in various 
quarters of the city until the middle of 
the fifteenth century (1473), when, after 
a destructive pestilence that decimated the 
population, all the Jews not yet in the 
ftideitstadt determined to cast in their lot 
with their brethren there, and so all were 
merged into the one great community,^ 
whicli became *'a mother in Israel,*' an 
influential congregation. Great rabbis 
flourished there, schools of Jewish learn- 
ing arose and prospered, men and women 
whose names are honored in history lived 
their life in this Ghetto, and all the phe- 
nomena that characterize mediceval Jewish 

86 Old European Jeivrics, 

history appeared there. Sacred memories, 
indeed, this Ghetto cherishes, and dark 
happenings, too, that speak ill for human 
kind ; grand achievements of learning, 
heroism and philanthropy brighten its an- 
nals, but pages blackened with the record of 
internal strife and superstition peep forth, 
too. In this long history of centuries are 
mirrored the manifold acts that make up 
the sum of human endeavor, and the record 
of the Jewish community of Prague, with 
its lights and shadows, its glories and de- 
gradations, presents a faithful picture of 
the course of human life as it ebbed and 
flowed in the narrow confines of Jewry 
during the centuries that preceded the 
emancipation of the present. 

First, as to the external history of the 
community. It was subject to many per- 
secutions and expulsions and extortions. 
The story is much the same as that of the 
Jews everywhere. During the crusades, 
the time fraught with so much misery for 
these hapless ones, when the mobs fell 
upon the Jewish communities, and murder, 
carnage and plunder held high carnival, 

The yudenstadt of Prague, 87 

the Judeftstadt of Prague came in for its 
share of the gentle mercies of the crusad- 
ers. Drunk with the blood of the victims 
whom they had slaughtered or driven to 
death in the German cities, the crusaders 
came to Bohemia, attacked the Jews 
of Prague, dragged them to baptism, 
and killed those who resisted. In vain 
good Bishop Cosmas preached against 
these terrible proceedings ; the crusaders 
paid no heed to his words. ^** This was in 
the year 1099. During the third crusade 
the mobs on their way to Palestine passed 
through Bohemia, and in Prague demanded 
money from the Jews. They refused to 
comply with this request, and the crusad- 
ers resorted to violence. It is refreshing 
to note that the Jews resisted so success- 
fully that the crusaders were forced to draw 
off without having accomplished their ob- 

In the year 1389 occurred the most ter- 
rible persecution to which the Jews of 
Prague were ever subjected. On Easter 
Sunday (April 18) of that year, a priest 
carrying the pyx was passing through the 

88 Old Ettropean Jewries, 

Jewish quarter. Some Jewish children 
were playing in the sand on the street (it 
was the last day of Passover), pelting one 
another with pebbles. Some of the peb- 
bles chanced to strike the priest, which so 
enraged him and those who accompanied 
him that they abused the children shame- 
fully. The parents of the children, alarmed 
by their cries, hastened to the spot to aid 
them. The priest now hurried away into 
the city, crying aloud that his office had 
been desecrated by the Jews, that they 
had pelted him with stones, so that the 
host had fallen from his hands. There- 
upon the citizens of Prague descended 
upon the homes of the Jews, and offered 
them the alternative of baptism or death. 
The Jews, refusing to forswear their 
faith, were murdered by the thousands 
on that day and the following night. 
Many Jews, among others the aged rabbi, 
killed their own dear ones to save them 
from the fury of the mob, and then them- 
selves. The synagogues, with one excep- 
tion, were destroyed, and even the dead 
were not left in peace. The great ceme- 

The yudcnstadt of Prague. 89 

tery was devastated, the tombstones were 
destroyed ^' (so that there is now no stone 
in the cemetery dating from earlier than 
the fifteenth century), and the corpses 
were disinterred, stripped, and left to rot 
on the streets. The pope, more merciful, 
issued a bull on July 2, denouncing these 
barbarities, and referring to the edict of 
Innocent IV, which forbade the forcible 
baptism of the Jews, or the interference 
with them on their holidays. The king, 
Wenceslaus, declared that the Jews de- 
served their fate, because they had had the 
hardihood to leave their houses on Easter 
Sunday and appear on the streets. It was 
a canon law that the Jews should not be 
seen on the streets during Holy Week, and 
the law was wise, for collisions were bound 
to take place between the followers of the 
two religions. Some Jews, without doubt, 
would take occasion to mock, so that the 
command to remain in-doors was well-in- 
tentioned. Indeed it has been maintained 
that this terrible persecution arose from 
the fact that some Jews mocked the 
priest. ^^ 

90 Old Ejtropcan Jewries. 

Many of the greatest evils were brought 
upon the Jews by apostates, who often 
thought to ingratiate themselves with their 
new comrades by bringing accusations and 
spreading calumnies against their old co- 
religionists. Their method usually was to 
declare that here and there in the Jewish 
writings there was some attack upon Chris- 
tianity or its founder. By specious argu- 
ments they worked up the easily influenced 
populace and priesthood (for the most part 
ignorant and not understanding one word 
of Hebrew) against the Jews, and in spite 
of protest, declarations that the accusa- 
tions were false, the deposition of clear 
proof, and the explanation of the passages 
in question, the unfortunates, condemned 
by public opinion no matter what they 
might say, always had to suffer. As though 
their cup of bitterness were not full enough, 
the Jews had to bear with ills inflicted on 
them by those who had gone forth from 
their own midst. At the end of the four- 
teenth century (1399), one of these con- 
verted Jews, by name Pesach, changed 
into Peter with his change of religion, 

The Judejistadt of Prague. 9 1 

leveled a new accusation against his former 
brethren in faith by declaring that a blas- 
phemous charge against Jesus is contained 
in that sublime concluding prayer of the 
Jewish service known as AlenUy which gives 
expression to the belief in the unity of 
God and to the hope for the time when 
superstition and idolatry will disappear, and 
God alone will be recognized. The lie 
was credited, many Jews of Prague were 
arrested, seventy-seven executed, and three 
publicly burnt. ^^ 

So rose and fell the waves of Jewish 
life ; the Jews were only a tolerated class. 
The story is the same all over Europe ; 
they were subject to caprice of ruler and 
mob. It must not be imagined that there 
was continual persecution ; there were 
many intervals of peace, in which the reg- 
uhu' avocations of life were calmly ])ursucd, 
but at any moment the peace might be 
broken, and new miseries fall to the lot of 
the inhabitants of the Ghetto. Of course, 
the petty persecutions to which Jews 
were subjected everywhere, the inhabitants 
of the Praq^ue Ghetto experienced. The 

92 Old Etiropcan ycwrics. 

compulsion to wear the distinguishing 
mark on their clothes, the prohibition to 
employ Christian nurses for their children, 
and many other like prohibitions embit- 
tered their lives, but they grew accustomed 
to these things, too. They had to pay ex- 
tra taxes of various kinds. Time and again 
they were threatened with expulsion from 
the land, and it was only by the ex- 
penditure of great sums that they suc- 
ceeded in staying the execution of the de- 
cree. Rulers and people seem to have 
lost all human feeling in dealing with the 
Jews. Even in the possession of their 
books and writings they were not left 
undisturbed. The confiscations and burn- 
ing of Jewish books, alleged to contain 
blasphemies against Christianity and its 
founder, form an interesting chapter in the 
account of the mediaeval oppression of the 
Jews. ^5 For instance, in the year 1559, 
all Jewish books and manuscripts found 
in the Jewish quarter of Prague, including 
prayer books, eighty hundred-weight in all, 
were confiscated, and sent to Vienna. In 
the same year a conflagration broke out 

The yude^istadt of Prague. 93 

in the Jewish quarter, and destroyed a 
great number of dwellings. Instead of 
assisting the unfortunates to quench the 
fire, the Christian populace threw weak 
women into the flames, and plundered 
where they could. Two years later, in 1 56 1 , 
Ferdinand I, who had long been working 
towards that end, ordered their expulsion 
from the city. For years they had suc- 
ceeded in preventing the carrying out of 
the dread order, but now they were com- 
pelled to wander forth. The emperor met 
all appeals to reconsider the decree with 
the statement that he had vowed to expel 
the Jews from Prague, and could not 
break his oath. Yet was the expulsion re- 
voked, and that, too, in a most unexpected 
and dramatic manner. Mordecai Zemach 
Kohen, a Jew of Prague, whose tomb- 
stone still stands in the great cemetery, de- 
termined, if possible, to rescue his brethren 
from the terrible calamity. He journeyed 
to Rome, by some means obtained an 
audience with Pope Pius IV, received a 
dispensation absolving the emperor from 
his vow, and the Jews were permitted to 
return in March of the following year.^ 

94 Old European ycturics. 

In the beginning of the seventeenth cen- 
tury there were about ten thousand Jews 
in Prague,^^ and they were quite prosper- 
ous. There had been a lull in the perse- 
cutions. Under the emperors Rudolph 
and Matthias the Jewish quarter attained 
unexampled splendor. Mordecai Meisel, 
the great benefactor of the Prague Jewish 
community, lived during this time (1548 — 
1 601). The emperors had issued privi- 
leges and shown much favor to individual 
Jews, notably Meisel and Jacob Rassewi. 
The latter was afterwards ennobled on ac- 
count of his services to the imperial house, 
took the name of von Treuenberg, and 
was permitted to adopt a coat of arms 
(blue lion and eight red stars on a blue 
background). These privileges to indi- 
vidual Jews redounded to the benefit of 
the community at large, and the people 
enjoyed happy days. But with the Bohe- 
mian revolt in 161 9, an early incident of 
the bloody Thirty Years' War, the happy 
condition of the Jews' quarter changed al- 
most in a twinkling. The adherents of 
the Protestant elector palatine, Frederick, 

The Judettstadt of Prague. 95 

king of Bohemia, made the Jewish quar- 
ter the object of pillaging attack, be- 
cause of the loyalty of the Jews to the 
Catholic imperial house. This loyalty 
brought them fitting reward. At the cel- 
ebrated battle of White Mountain, No- 
vember 8, 1620, the imperial troops gained 
a decided victory, and at once proceeded 
to invest the capital city of Prague. Now 
followed days and weeks of plunder and 
bloodshed, but, marvelous to say, the 
Jews, always the first victims on such oc- 
casions, were unexpectedly protected. The 
commander of the imperial forces, remem- 
bering the faithfulness of the Jews to his 
cause, stationed guards before the gates 
of the Jewish quarter, and thus this sec- 
tion of the city was saved from the hor- 
rors of war rampant in all other quarters 
of the town. In remembrance of this un- 
expected deliverance, the rabbinate ap 
pointed the day, the 14th of Marcheshwan, 
an annual fast and feast day, the forenoon 
to be spent in fasting, in memory of the 
tribulation and terror of the people before 
deliverance came ; the afternoon in feast- 

96 Old European yewrtes. 

ing. in memory of the salvation. This day 
was known as the Prague Purim.^ The 
rich Jews of Prague were granted permis- 
sion to purchase the houses abandoned by 
the Protestants who had sought safety in 

Emperor Ferdinand continued to show 
favor to the Jews of Prague. In 1623 he 
issued a privilegium from Ratisbon, in 
which it was decreed that the Jews of 
Prague were not to be held responsible 
for the debts of the Jews of the rest of 
Bohemia, and that they need pay no higher 
taxes than the Christians. The allegations 
of the elders of the community of Prague 
were to be respected, and the Jews of 
Bohemia were to be permitted to pursue 
trade without hindrance. In 1628 he 
enlarged these privileges, and ordered the 
Jews to pay 40,000 fl. yearly, and so free 
themselves from all other taxes. 

During the whole long struggle, the 
Jews continued faithful to the imperial 
house. The war was ended in Prague, 
where it had begim. When the Swedes 
approached the city, and besieged it, the 

The Judenstadt of Prague. 9 7 

Jewish quarter, which lay on the bank of 
the river, was especially open to their at- 
tacks, and the Jews threw up a redoubt, 
known as the Jews* redoubt. The quarter 
was bombarded, and the inhabitants suf- 
fered greatly. When the nobles and other 
inhabitants of Prague went forth to do 
battle with the enemy, the Jews were left 
behind to patrol and guard the city. They 
were continually engaged in repairing the 
gaps made in the fortifications and in 
throwing up new redoubts. Several of 
them lost their lives. The treaty of West- 
phalia brought the contest to an end, and 
the evil days were past. In celebration of 
the cessation of the siege and the deliver- 
ance of the city, the Jews had a public pro- 
cession with music, and at the head of the 
line of march were carried two flags pre- 
sented to them by former emperors. As 
a reward for their bravery and constancy 
during the siege, they were given permis- 
sion to have a small bell in the Jewish 
town hall to call the people together when 
important matters were to be decided.^^ 
Besides, in recognition of their action on 

98 Old European ycwrics, 

this occasion, Emperor Ferdinand III in 
creased their privileges and rights by 
granting them permission to live in all 
imperial cities and possessions, from which 
they were not to be expelled without the 
knowledge of the emperor. They were also 
permitted to engage in all trades and in- 
dustries except the manufacture of arms.** 
But dark days were again coming. In 
1679 th^ Jewish quarter was visited by a 
conflagration ; eight years later, in 1687, a 
second conflagration devastated the quar- 
ter, and laid it almost completely in ruins. 
The Jews were, therefore, necessitated to 
seek shelter in Christian homes. The 
archbishop forbade the priests to adminis- 
ter the rite of extreme unction to Chris- 
tians who had received Jews into their 
homes. When he refused to reconsider 
the heartless order, the people appealed 
to the emperor, who had shown himself 
more humane. He replied that he knew 
it to be forbidden for Jews and Christians 
to live together, but that he considered 
the present an exceptional case. He 
warned the Jews, however, not to mock 
or scoff at the Christians.*' 

The ytidcfistadl of Prague. 99 

The last expulsion of the Jews from 
Prague took place in 1 744. On the 23d of 
December of the preceding year, Empress 
Maria Theresa had issued a decree that by 
the end of 1 744 all Jews must leave Bohe- 
mia. Entreaties, expostulations availed 
naught With the exception of a very 
few favored ones, all the Jews had to leave 
Prague. The usual consequences of such 
a measure followed ; trade languished and 
real estate declined in value, for the sud- 
den withdrawal of a large, active and in- 
dustrious portion of the population always 
has a deleterious effect. The petitions for 
the return of the Jews on the part of the 
authorities, the tradesmen and the popu- 
lace of the city generally, became so urgent 
and persistent that in 1748 the empress 
found herself compelled to yield, and 
granted the Jews permission to return, on 
condition that they paid, in conjunction 
with their co-rcligionists in Moravia and 
Silesia, an annual Jew-tax of 300,000 florins 
in addition to the regular taxes. This tax 
was exacted up to the year 1848.*^ 

Towards the close of the century, the 

lOO Old European yewrics. 

new spirit began to affect the reigning 
house of Hapsburg, too, and Emperor 
Joseph II commenced to improve the con- 
dition of the Jews. The emancipation of 
the Jews went steadily forward, sustaining 
reverses at times, it is true, but the freedom 
making itself felt everywhere could not 
but aflfect the condition of the Jews, and 
in 1848 — ^wondrous year — the Jewish quar- 
ter or Ghetto of Prague ceased to be the 
compulsory dwelling place of the Jews. 
They were permitted to live in all quarters 
of the city ; gradually the gates and walls 
were removed ; poorer classes of Christians 
moved into the vacated houses. The 
quarter with many of its old landmarks, 
which will be described briefly, still stands, 
occupied, in great part, by Jews, but there 
is a vast difference between the voluntary 
domicile of this day and the compulsory 
dwelling place of the dark centuries of the 

A few of the salient events of the outer 
history of the Jews of Prague having 
been given, some pages may now be de- 
voted to the inner life, the description 
of the Ghetto and its prominent features. 

The y7ide7istadl of Prague, loi 

The Jewish community of Prague was, 
with the exception of that of Amsterdam, 
the largest in Europe during mediaeval 
times. The Judefistadi was large, and 
was separated from the city by nine gates, 
which were locked and barred every night 
from within. The Jews had their own 
jurisdiction, and the directory, composed 
of the chief men of the community, super- 
intended the police regulations. Civil suits 
were decided by the college of rabbis. In 
short, the Jewish community was to a cer- 
tain extent self-ruling, and in this differed 
from other European Jewish communities. 
From early times this had been the case. I n 
the year 1268, by a friendly decree of Ot- 
tokar II, the Jews were released from the 
jurisdiction of the aldermen of the city, 
and provision was made for the appoint- 
ment of a Judex Jtcdceorum, a judge of 
the Jews, who was to decide in civil and 
criminal cases. The synagogue was to be 
the court of justice, and was declared 
inviolable. Since decisions were given 
among the Jews according to the rabbini- 
cal code, this judge always had to be a 

I02 Old European ycivrics, 

rabbi ; he presided at the sessions of the 
court. At the head of the political ad- 
ministration stood the president of the 
congregation, known as the priviator. 
As just stated, the synagogue was the 
seat of justice. This was the case until 
the close of the sixteenth century, when 
the town hall, which is still standing, was 
built by Mordecai Meisel, and used there- 
after for all judicial functions, and the 
synagogue was employed for its proper pur- 
pose, the holding of religious service. The 
town hall is joined to a synagogue known 
as the Hoch'Synagoge, which served as a 
sort of private chapel for the councilors, 
and for the fulfilment of religious duties 
connected with the dispensation of justice. 
The town hall is graced with a tower, on 
which is a curious dial with the hours 
marked in Hebrew and Arabic numerals. 
After the conflagration of 1 754, the town 
hall was rebuilt (on its door appears the 
date 1755), and the bell of the tower re- 
cast On this bell may be read in Hebrew 
characters, ** renewed in the year 5525," 
i.e. 1764. In 1627, Ferdinand H, the mon- 

The yndcnstadi of Prague, 103 

arch who was so kindly disposed toward 
the Jews of the city, declared the Juden- 
sladt an independent district, with its own 
magistrates and jurisdiction. Two judi- 
cial bodies were now formed, a lower and 
a higher court. The judges of the lower 
court held daily public sessions. They 
adjudicated in litigations of small import. 
The higher court composed of the college 
of rabbis, the chief rabbi at the head, was 
the court of appeal, to which cases could 
be carried from the lower court, suits of 
great importance being brought before it 
in the first instance. In 1784 this sepa- 
rate Jewish rabbinical jurisdiction was 
abolished. The affairs of the Jewish com- 
munity were then placed under the super- 
vision of the town magistrate.®^ At present, 
since the year 1849, ^^^ ^^^ town hall 
serves as an office building for the direc- 
tors of the religious affairs of the congre- 

Directly opposite the town hall stands 
an old, venerable structure, not very large, 
but the most interesting building in the 
whole quarter. The ancient house is 

I04 Old European ycwrics. 

known as the Alt-neu Synagoge, the 
** Old-new synagogue/* the building that 
has stood the wear and tear of time, that 
has existed through the long, sad history 
of the ages. Many harrowing scenes of 
man's inhumanity to man, and many sub- 
lime instances of supreme faithfulness and 
steadfastness even in death have its walls 
witnessed. Old, centuries old, is the 
building, and many have been the theories 
as to the time of its construction. The 
name, *' Old-new synagogue," seems to 
indicate that at one time the old synagogue 
was renewed, and in truth, at the first 
glance it becomes evident that the build- 
ing consists of two entirely distinct por- 
tions, the older, lower story being in the 
Byzantine style of architecture, the up- 
per, newer in the Gothic. The tradition 
of the Ghetto has it that the older por- 
tion dates from the sixth, the newer 
from the thirteenth century. Late in- 
vestigators have concluded that neither 
is so old ; that the older part was con- 
structed in the twelfth, and the newer 
in the fourteenth century.** 

The ytidcnstadt of Prague, 105 

The synagogue is entered by steps lead- 
ing down to the floor of the building, 
which lies lower than the street. Accord- 
ing to tradition, it was so built in fulfil- 
ment of the word of the Psalmist, " Out of 
the depths have I cried unto Thee, O 
Lord ! " Beautiful and poetical as is this 
thought, in the light of historical research 
it has been dissipated, for it has been estab- 
lished that at one time the street was much 
lower than at present, and that the building 
was then on a level with the street ; that later 
the street was raised, and thebuiding, now 
being lower, had to be reached by descend- 
ing steps. The interior is small and 
gloomy; there is no gallery, and the 
women had to be content with looking 
through the small windows situated at in- 
tervals along the northern wall. A con- 
spicuous object in the synagogue is the 
great red flag attached to one of the pil- 
lars opposite the entrance, ornamented 
with the shield of David, within it the 
Swede's hat, and bearing the inscription, 
***The Lord of Hosts, full is the whole 
earth of His glory'! In the year 51 17 A. M., 

io6 Old European ycivrics. 

(i. e. 1357) his Majesty, Emperor Charles 
IV, granted the Jews the distinction and 
the privilege of carrying a flag. This was re- 
newed in the reign of Emperor Ferdinand. 
Damaged by the wear of time, it is now 
renewed in honor of our lord, Emperor 
Charles VI, may God increase his glory! 
On the occasion of the birth of his exalted 
son, Archduke Leopold, in the year 1716." 
The privilege of carrying a flag in their pro- 
cessions was highly prized by the Jews. 
Whenever an emperor came to Prague, 
and the Jews formed in procession to meet 
him, the flag was brought forth. The 
Swede's hat, embroidered within the shield 
of David on the flag, is the coat of arms 
granted the Jews by Ferdinand II, in rec- 
ognition of their bravery and their services 
during the siege of the city by the Swedes. 
The flag is now merely a relic, and has 
lost its former significance and importance, 
but the Jews of Prague still point to it 
with pride, as the symbol embodying the 
patriotism of the early inhabitants of the 
Ghetto and their faithfulness to the gov- 
ernment and the land of their residence. 

The Jndenstadt of Prague. 107 

The interior of the synagogue is dark 
and gloomy. The gloom was until within 
the past few years much greater even than 
it is now, the walls being black with the 
dust and mold of centuries. There was a 
tradition that these walls had been bespat- 
tered with the blood of the martyrs of the 
great persecution of 1389, and for fear of 
obliterating the traces, the rabbis continu- 
ally protested against a cleansing of the 
walls. This gave the old building a som- 
bre appearance, and increased the natural 
gloom in which the interior was shrouded, 
so that it appeared indeed a relic of a sad, 
dark, gloomy past. Lately the interior 
has been renovated, and what it may have 
lost as a relic of sad antiquity, it has gained 
in cheer. The history of the old house 
of worship is remarkable. It passed un- 
scathed through fire and flood. In the 
great conflagrations which visited the 
Ghetto, and to which allusion has been 
made, the flames devoured the buildings 
in its immediate vicinity, but it escaped un- 
harmed, for great efforts were always made 
to save it. During the devastating inunda- 

io8 Old European Jeivrics. 

tions of the river Moldau, to which the 
Ghetto, lying on the bank of the stream, 
was especially exposed, time and again 
buildings were swept away, but the old 
synagogue successfully withstood the at- 
tacks of water, as it had of fire, and even 
during the persecutions, when cruelty ran 
riot, and the Ghetto was despoiled by 
murderous, plundering mobs, the mad- 
dened populace seemed to regard this old 
structure with awe, possibly with super- 
stitious dread, for never was it despoiled 
or ruined. Within its walls, the poor, 
hunted creatures gathered in the days of 
persecution. At one time, as has been 
stated, some met their death there, and 
their life-blood stained the walls. Here, 
too, they assembled in troubled days to 
pray for help and strength. No wonder 
that there gathered about it a mass of 
legends, superstitions and traditions, that 
it became the object of the people's loving 
care and solicitude, that it embodied for 
them all the glory of their faith, and 
became the symbol for the long, sad tale 
of their history. Many a larger, more pre- 

The Judensladl of Prague^ 109 

tentious house of worship has arisen in the 
city, but none is and none can ever be re- 
garded with the affection and reverence 
that cling to the Alt-neu Schuly bound 
up as it is with the Hfe and sufferings of 
centuries, entwined with memories sad, 
rare, and glorious, a monument of the past 
transported into the newer, better present, 
a link between what has gone before and 
what is. 

A few minutes' walk down the street to 
the right leads to the great cemetery, the 
home of the dead. The graves are three 
and four deep, and, therefore, the top of 
the mounds is much higher than the street 
without, and the floor of the synagogue 
next to the graveyard lies many feet lower 
than the cemetery. The tombstones are 
very close together ; some are beginning 
to crumble, the inscriptions on others are 
still very legible ; the epitaphs have all 
been copied, and a list of the Jewish fami- 
lies of Prague made in accordance with 
the information gleaned from these silent 
witnesses. The cemetery, known as the 
fudengarteUy *'the Jews* garden," was ac- 

I lo Old European yczuj'ics. 

quired for this purpose in the reign of 
Ottokar II, in 1254. The oldest tomb- 
stones were destroyed in the terrible per- 
secution of 1389, when the mob, in its 
fury, did not spare even the resting-places 
of the dead. The oldest existing epitaph 
dates from the year 1439.®^ Above the 
entrance to the cemetery one reads the 
inscription in Hebrew and German: 

" Reverence for antiquity ; 
Respect for ownership ; 
Rest for the dead.** 

This inscription dates from the year 
1837, and finds its explanation in the fol- 
lowing circumstance : in that year the 
Jews of the city, finding their quarters too 
crowded, petitioned the town council to 
give them permission to live outside the 
Ghetto. The council concluded to grant 
the Jews permission to devote the ground 
of the old cemetery, not employed as a 
burial-place for over forty years, to build- 
ing purposes, and in this manner enlarge 
the Jewish quarter. In consequence of 
this. Rabbi Samuel Landau had the in- 
scription placed at the entrance. Needless 

The yttdetistadt of Prague, 1 1 1 

to say, the permission of the council was 
not taken advantage of, and the cemetery 
not disturbed. 

As one wanders among the graves, most 
of them old, centuries old, thought cannot 
but revert to the past and the checkered 
history of the Jews. Everything is quiet 
and peaceful now in this home of the dead, 
the troubled are at rest ; but as we read 
the names chiseled in the tombstones, 
some of celebrities who shed glory upon 
the Jewish community of Prague, most of 
them unknown or forgotten, we see pass 
before us the changing views of the pano- 
rama of bygone days, depicting scenes in 
which those resting here, the great and 
the small, the rich and the poor, the learned 
and the ignorant, were the actors. Most 
of the tombstones are plain slabs, but some 
over the graves of noted individuals are 
pretentious monuments. On many of the 
stones we note engraved figures, symboli- 
cal either of the class to which the deceased 
belonged, or of his condition, or his name. 
For instance, the tombstones of the 
Aaronides, i. e., of priestly families, are 

1 1 2 Old Europemi Jewries, 

adorned with two spreading hands, the 
fingers in pairs, adjusted in the peculiar 
way in which the priests held their hands 
over the people while reciting the benedic- 
tion. The stone erected over the grave 
of a descendant of the Levites is marked 
with a pitcher cut into the stone, while 
that placed over the resting place of the 
Israelite who can trace his ancestry back 
to neither priest nor Levitc, is distin- 
guished by a sculptured bunch of grapes. 
Besides these there are many other sym- 
bolical figures ; for example, on the tomb- 
stone of a young girl a female figure 
is at times seen ; on that marking the 
grave of a young wife, a female figure 
carrying a rose. The name that the de- 
ceased bore, if taken from some object 
in the animal or vegetable kingdom, so 
often the case among the Jews, e, g.. 
Wolf, Baer, Rose, V5gele (bird), Taube 
(pigeon), Blume (flower), L5we (lion), 
Veilchen (violet), may be learned from 
the figures of these objects on the stones. 
The inscriptions are, of course, in Hebrew, 
and are a valuable source for the history 

The yudcnsladt of Prague. 1 13 

of the Jews. They have all been copied, 
and the more important edited.'^ In 
this cemetery of Prague rest celebrated 
rabbis, renowned scholars, great physi- 
cians, noted philanthropists, men and 
women who in life did their duty well, and 
in death are not forgotten. Here one 
reads the epitaph of Mordecai Meisel 
(1528 — 1601), the great philanthropist,who 
paved the whole Jewish quarter, built two 
synagogues, the so-called HochSynagoge, 
adjoining the RathhauSy and the Meisel 
Synagoge, erected an almshouse, a school, 
a bath, did untold private charity, and as- 
sisted Jewish congregations elsewhere. 
Here, too, is the grave of Rabbi Judah ben 
Bezalel, known as the Hohe Rabbi Low, 
about whose memory innumerable legends 
float. The people looked upon him as a 
magician, and the Joscfstadt of to-day 
is still replete with traditions of his won- 
derful powers. Notable among these 
stories is that of the Homunculus (known 
among the Jews as the Goleni), the figure 
created by him that attended to all his 

needs. The foundation for these stories 

1 14 Old European Jewries, 

appears to be that he busied hhnself with 
scientific experiments. The contents of 
his interview with Emperor Rudolph, in 
1592, never became known, hence it was 
made the basis of a legend. He was the 
most celebrated of the chief rabbis of 
Prague. The house in which he lived is 
still pointed out, and is marked with a sign, 
a lion on a blue background. As we pass 
along, wc note the grave of David Gans 
(1541 — 1613), the historian, whose book, 
Zemach David, ** The Sprout of David," 
is a chronicle of Jewish events from the 
creation to the year 1592 ; also that of the 
chief rabbi, David Oppenheim (1664 — 
1 736), who gathered that great collection 
of Hebrew books and manuscripts still des- 
ignated by scholars as the Bibliothcca Op- 
penheim, the pride of the Bodleian library 
at Oxford, where it is now preserved in- 
tact ; of Joseph del Medigo, of Candia 
(i 591 — 1655), one of the most renowned of 
J ewish scholars — physician, mathema- 
tician, philosopher and traveler, pupil of the 
great Galileo, and physician in ordinary of 
Prince Radziwill. Not far away rest the 

Tlic Judenstadt of Prague. 1 1 5 

remains of the noble man spoken of 
above, Mordecai Zemach Kohen, through 
whose ahnost superhuman efforts the de- 
cree of expulsion issued by Emperor Fer- 
dinand was revoked. Near by is a pre- 
tentious monument, erected in memory of 
one of the noblest and most charitable of 
women, Hendel, wife of Jacob Bassewi von 
Treucnberg, ennobled by Emperor Ferdi- 
nand II, in 1622 ; and so might many others 
be named, who, in the old God's acre, 
sleep the last earthly sleep, and who, in 
their day, rose far above mediocrity. Only 
a few of the most renowned have been 
mentioned. A century has passed since 
the last interment took place. A relic of 
the past, the old cemetery remains quiet 
and undisturbed by the troubled life of 
the present. Its epitaphs, in their stony 
silence, are eloquent witnesses of the 
doings and ambitions of men and ages 
gone, and as we step beyond its portal, we 
feel that we are leaving the centuries of 
persecution and oppression, and are going 
out into the light of freedom. Of the sig- 
nificance and importance of these epi- 

1 16 Old European ycwrics, 

taphs, the great master of Jewish research 
says :®' 

"The epitaphs were intended to keep 
aHve the memory of the dead unto pos- 
terity beyond the time in which the pious 
affection of relatives and admirers erected 
them, and the possession or knowledge of 
these inscriptions, though they reach no 
further back than the eleventh century, 
would have an incalculable value in in- 
creasing our meager information concern- 
ing Jewish families, as well as for literature 
and history. But nothing was destroyed 
and uprooted with colder indifference or 
with more bigoted fanaticism than the 
Jewish tombstones; whatever tombstones 
of an old date existed in numberless places 
in Europe, Asia and Africa, were either 
purposely destroyed, or carelessly per- 
mitted to disappear. As a matter of 
course, the purchased sepulchers, together 
with the epitaphs, were the property of indi- 
viduals, and the cemeteries acquired from 
princes, towns and bishops for large sums 
of money were the possessions of the con- 
gregations ; in spite of this the graves were 

The yuctciistadt of Pragttc, 1 1 7 

desecrated and plundered in the thirteenth 
century in Spain, Italy, France, Germany. 
* The sacred stones were thrown upon the 
streets as an insult, the remains of those 
who had worshipped God were removed 
from their graves, and before the eyes of 
the living the bodies of the dead were 
trampled upon and plundered* (old prayer) ; 
or after the expulsion and killing of the 
Jews, the graveyards were seized, the 
tombstones broken to pieces, and used for 
other purposes. Throughout Germany, 
between the fourteenth and the sixteenth 
century, walls, foundations, churches and 
houses were constructed with Jewish tomb- 
stones thus acquired." 

So stands still the old Jewish quarter of 
Prague ; its walls have fallen, the Jews have 
scattered into all quarters of the city be- 
yond its precincts, but still we thread the 
narrow, crooked streets, and there crowd 
in upon us thoughts, sad and painful, when 
we recall the awful scenes here enacted, 
and at the same time we are thrilled with 
admiration for the constancy, heroism and 
bravery of the tliousands of Jews in the 

1 1 8 Old European y envies. 

dark years and centuries, in which they 
withstood all the horrors to which they 
were continually subjected. But through 
the darkness that overhangs the past 
gleams a bright light. In the narrow 
lanes and byways, here and elsewhere, 
grew up that beautiful Jewish home life 
that has been one of the means of salva- 
tion for the Jews. The story of this life is 
not recorded, but it is more important 
than the outer events and misfortunes that 
historians have made note of. By it the 
character of the people was formed, and 
as we look upon the unsightly houses in 
the Jewish quarter, the wretched exterior 
seems to float away, and the home scenes 
of joy and love and religious constancy 
shine brilliantly forth — perpetual lamps — 
and explaia how, in spite of woe and 
misery, such as have fallen to the lot of no 
other people so long and so continuously, 
the Jews have found strength to live and 
hope on. Religion and home, faith and 
love, conviction and affection, these are 
undying possessions that the Jews clung 
to and preserved. The evils of the 

The Judenstadt of Prague. 1 1 9 

Ghetto, a hideous nightmare, have passed ; 
the things that imbued the long-suflfering 
with strength, live forever. The mists 
dissolve, the sun-light spreads, wrong dis- 
appears, the just conquers, God reigns, 
and right must triumph. 



The Jewish community of Rome is un- 
doubtedly the oldest in Europe. The Jews 
have lived there uninterruptedly since Poni- 
pey*s time, probably even from an earlier 
day,^ with the possible exception of a 
short period during the reign of Claudius, 
who is said to have expelled them from 
the city.^ We have no notice that they 
were compelled to leave the city at any 
other time. Even during the terrible days 
of the crusades, the Jews of Rome were 
little affected by the cruelty of the mobs, 
who inflicted untold sufferings on their 
co-religionists in Germany, France, Aus- 
tria and Bohemia. Their condition in im- 
perial and papal Rome was usually bear- 
able, for, in many instances, the popes were 

( I20 ) 

The Ghetto of Rome, \ 2 1 

kind, although there were occupants of the 
see of St. Peter who did all in their 
power to harass, humiliate and oppress 
them. Their residence of two thousand 
years in Rome, the center of Chris- 
tianity, under conditions most unfavor- 
able and depressing, is nothing short of 
a miracle. It is the same miracle that 
the preservation of Israel everywhere pre- 
sents ; it belongs to the scheme of Divine 
Providence. The people has a mission, 
and until that mission is fulfilled, it will 
continue to exist, whatever the external 
conditions and evils it must endure. 

In the old imperial days, the Jews were 
confined to no special quarter ; they could 
dwell anywhere in the city, although the 
majority lived in Trans'tiberis^ (Trans- 
tevere), where their synagogue was situ- 
ated. This portion of the city some of 
them continued to inhabit until the insti- 
tution of the official Ghetto in 1556. But 
long before this time Jews lived on the 
left bank of the Tiber.^* The bridge 
Quattro Capi was known as the Pons 
Jndccormn, ** bridge of the Jews." A 

122 Old European ycwries, 

charter given in 1019 by Pope Bene- 
dict VIII to the bishopric of Portus, whose 
jurisdiction extended over the island of 
the Tiber and Transtevere, mentions, as 
belonging to this terntory, /it ndiwi integ- 
rum, qui vacatur Judceorum, **the whole 
district, named after the Jews," and desig- 
nates, as its boundary, mediumpontem ubi 
hidcei habitare vide^itur, *' the middle of 
the bridge, where the Jews appear to 
dwell. "^^ 

Their papal masters were content to 
permit the Jews to live as they had been 

accustomed for centuries. With papal leg- 
islation in regard to the Jews we are not 
concerned here, except in so far as it touched 
their dwelling place. With this none of 
the popes, the spiritual and temporal mas- 
ters of Rome, interfered until the time of 
the cruel Paul IV Caraffa, one of the 
most sinister pontiffs that ever occupied 
the see of St. Peter. He was the one to 
institute torture chambers and the censor- 
ship in Rome. He was hated alike by 
Christians and Jews. So bitter was the 
animosity against him. that upon his death 

The Ghetto of Rome. 1 2 3 

the Roman people execrated and cursed 
his memory. They applauded a Jew who 
placed a yellow hat upon his statue, and 
thereupon the people dragged the statue 
through the streets of Rome to the Capitol, 
destroyed it, and threw the head with the 
hat into the Tiber. This man, whom the 
Jews designated by the name of Israel's 
traditional arch-enemy, Haman, has the 
sorry renown^^ of having established the 
Roman Ghetto, into which, for three hun 
dred years, thousands of human creatures 
were crowded, a disgrace to humanity 
and civilization. Scarce had he ascended 
the papal throne when, on July 12, 1555, 
he promulgated the famous bull, Ctim 
nimis absurdufUy in reference to the 
Jews. It repeats all the restrictions 
to which the Jews were accustomed, 
but the only portion that interests us 
here is the command that "in Rome 
and all other cities of the Papal States the 
Jews shall live entirely separated from the 
Christians, in a quarter or a street with 
one entrance and one exit; they shall 
have but one synagogue, shall build no 

I 24 Old Eiiropean yewrics. 

new synagogue, nor own real estate." In 
spite of petition and protest, the Jews of 
Rome were forced into their prison. Paul 
IV designated as the Ghetto a small 
territory consisting of a few narrow, un- 
healthy streets along the left bank of 
the Tiber, and extending from the bridge 
Quattro Capi to the Via del Pianto, 
" the street of lamentation." Truly, an ap- 
propriate entrance for the new quarter, as it 
was a place of lamentation for the Jews, and 
with weeping and wailiQg they entered it 
on July 26, 1556. The Jews resisted at 
the start ; one of them, David d' Ascoli, 
published a pamphlet setting forth the 
reasons why his co-religionists should not 
be treated thus ; for his pains he was con- 
demned to imprisonment for life. 

At first the district was named vicus 
Jtidceorum, later Ghetto. It was shut in 
by gates. Paul IV has been called the 
** heartless Pharaoh, who exposed the Jews 
to all the ills bound to arise from the 
cramped space and the low situation of 
the dwellings along the river, and these 
ills were a host of Egyptian plagues." For 

The Ghetto of Rome. 1 2 5 

example, in 1656, the Ghetto became such 
a hotbed of infection that the gates were 
closed for three months, and the unhappy 
inhabitants were not permitted to leave 
the quarter during all that time. A 
traveler of forty years ago speaks as fol- 
lows of the Ghetto : '* When I visited it 
(the Ghetto) the first time, the Tiber had 
just overflowed its banks, and the yellow 
flood flowed through the Fiumara, the 
lowest street of the Ghetto, the founda- 
tions of the houses of which stand partly 
in the water ; the river also coursed along 
the Octavia (another street), and covered 
the lower portions of the lowest houses. 
What a mchuicholy sight to see the wretch- 
ed Jewish quarter thus sunk in the waves 
of the Tiber ! Yearly must Israel in Rome 
experience the deluge, and the Ghetto 
survives the flood, like Noah's ark, with 
human creatures and animals. The dan- 
ger increases, when the Tiber, swelled by 
rains, is driven back from the sea by west 
winds; then all who live in the lower 
stories of the houses must seek refuge in 
the upper apartments. "*^^ 

126 Old European Jewries, 

An Italian writer, in discoursing upon 
the emancipation of the Jews in 1848, de- 
scribes this Ghetto as a ** formless heap of 
hovels and dirty cottages, ill kept, in 
which a population of nearly four thou- 
sand souls vegetates, when half that num- 
ber could with difficulty live there. The 
narrow, unclean streets, the scarcity of 
fresh air, and the filth, inevitable conse- 
quences of such a conglomeration of human 
beings, wretched for the most part, render 
this hideous dwelling place nauseous and 

This squalid quarter the Jews had to 
occupy, and the inhumanity of Paul IV 
placed the capstone upon the column of 
indignity, erected in the course of the 
Christian centuries, block upon block, each 
designating some new disgrace heaped 
upon the Jews. Unrelenting was Paul 
IV in his inimical attitude towards the de- 
voted people, and the day of his death 
was hailed with joy throughout the Jewry 
of the Papal States, the Jews hoping that, 
as each new pope was an independent 
sovereign, and made new rules for the 

The Ghetto of Rome. 1 2 7 

government of his state, his successor 
might revoke his decrees. That was the 
only comfort that the Jews had whenever 
a specially unfriendly pope occupied St. 
Peters: possibly his successor would be 
kind to them. And in this hope they were 
justified this time. Pius IV (1559 — 1565), 
the successor of Caraffa, entertained kind- 
lier sentiments toward the Jews. He light- 
ened their burden considerably, and his 
treatment was a great relief from the 
unremitting and unrelaxing cruelty of his 
predecessor. In 1561, at the urgent re- 
quest of the Jews, he issued a brief to the 
Jews of the Papal States, of the following 
import : His predecessor had promulgated 
a bull regulating the life of the Jews, which 
some, out of desire for their riches, had 
made use of to harass them. He, therefore, 
decreed that the Jews, on their journeys, 
might put aside the yellow head-covering, 
and that they be obliged to wear it only 
in the places in which they staid longer 
than one day ; that, if the quarter assigned 
to them in the cities was insufficient for 
them and their business, it could be en- 

1 28 Old European yeiories. 

larged by the governor or vice-legate, or 
a larger and more fitting quarter could be 
assigned to them ; that they could acquire, 
besides their houses in these quarters, 
other property to the value of 1 500 gold 
ducats ; that they could rent this property 
to Christians, could do business with Chris- 
tians, could exercise all trades, deal in all 
manner of goods, and have intercourse 
with Christians, but not employ Christian 
servants ; that, in the quarters assigned to 
them (viz., the Ghetto, established by Paul 
IV), the (Christian) owners of the houses 
could not ask exorbitant rents, but had to 
rent the houses at a price determined by 
the executive of the city. There were 
many other regulations in this favorable 
decree, but the last mentioned was of es- 
pecial importance. At the accession of 
Pius V (i 566 — 1572), the next pope, the sky 
was again overclouded for the Jewish resi- 
dents of Rome. The mildness of Pius IV 
had given them some respite, and encour- 
aged them to hope for better things, but in 
the days of Pius V the spirit of Paul IV was 
revived. He revoked the concessions of 

The Ghetto of Rome. 129 

his immediate predecessor, and renewed the 
harsh bull of Paul IV, Cum nimis absur- 
dum. The Jews, when ordered to the 
Ghetto, had been commanded to sell all 
their real estate outside. They had evaded 
this, and in the time of Pius IV, as noted 
above, they had again been permitted to ac- 
quire landed property. Pius V, however, 
ordered, in reference to this matter, that 
all property owned by the Jews not sold 
within a specified time, or sold only on 
pretense, was to become the possession of 
the church. In 1569, he ordered the 
Jews of all cities and towns of the Papal 
States, with the exception of Rome and 
Ancona, to leave within three months 
under pain of slavery and confiscation of 
their possessions. The Jews of these two 
cities were commanded not to harbor the 
exiles, and were forbidden to leave their 
own city to go to another place. He 
also laid down specific regulations for the 
Jews of the Roman Ghetto. Every Jew 
had to be in the Ghetto by nightfall. After 
the Ave Maria, the gates of the Ghetto 
were to be closed. Any Jew who was 

1 30 Old European yeivries. 

caught outside after nightfall, was pun- 
ished severely, unless he succeeded in 
bribing the watchman. Gregory XIII 
(1572 — 1585), the next pope, legislated in 
much the same spirit, but it is said that he 
permitted the Jews whom Pius V had ex- 
pelled from the Papal States to return^. 

Sixtus V (i 585 — 1 590), possibly the most 
humane and liberal minded of all the oc- 
cupants of the papal see, followed him. 
He was very kindly disposed toward the 
Jews, and in his day matters looked 
brighter for them than they had dared 
hope. In 1586 he issued his bull, Chris- 
tiana pietaSy in which he gave the Jews 
permission to settle in all cities of his do- 
main, and suitable dwellings at the custom- 
ary rents were to be assigned to them. 
These rents were not to be raised later. 
In places where they had had synagogues 
formerly, they were permitted to re-open 
them. In short, in this bull, he renewed 
all the privileges of the Jews. In his 
time, attracted by the leniency of his rule, 
many Jews came to Rome to live. 

Clement VIII (1592 — 1605) issued his 

The Ghetto of Rome. 1 3 1 

bull, Caca et perfidia Hebrceorunt obdu- 
rata, on February 25, 1593. He revoked 
the mild decrees of Pius IV and Sixtus V, 
and put into force again the harsh regu- 
lations of Paul IV and Pius V. He again 
expelled all the Jews who had returned to 
the cities of the Papal States during the 
pontificate of Sixtus V. Within three 
months of the date of the publication of 
the bull, all the Jews except those of 
Rome, Ancona and Avignon, permitted to 
remain because of the large commercial 
interests in their hands, again had to 
leave their homes. The Jews in Bologna 
at that time numbered nine hundred souls. 
On their departure from the city, with that 
filial reverence characteristic of the Jews, 
they took the bones of their dead with 
them, and re-interred them in the ceme- 
tery at Piere di Cento, where there was a 
small Jewish congregation. 

When Paul IV assigned the quarter be- 
tween the Via del Pianto and the Ponte 
del Quattro Capi to the Jews as their 
Ghetto, Christian families were living in 
that region. They had to move out of their 

132 Old Ettropean y civvies. 

homes, of which, of course, they retained 
the ownership ; many of the other houses 
were also owned by Christians. These 
houses the Jews had to rent. They had 
no alternative. They had to live there. 
The landlords, knowing this, could ask al- 
most any sum, and they were not slow in 
taking advantage of the situation. The 
Jews, having been forced into this dwell- 
ing place, had to be protected in some man- 
ner from extortionate rents and from the 
whim of the landlord, who might put them 
out at any moment. So it was found nec- 
essary in the time of Clement VIII to 
issue the law regulating the holding of 
property in the Ghetto and the relation of 
tenant to landlord, a law that remained in 
force until the abolition of the Ghetto. 
This law was to the effect that the Roman 
owners should remain in possession of the 
houses, but the Jewish tenants were to be 
given a leasehold ; they could not be 
given notice to move so long as they paid 
their rent. The rent, fixed by the authori- 
ties, could not be raised. The Jew could 
change and enlarge the house if he de- 

The Ghetto of Rome. 133 

sired. This right was given a special 
name, the jus gazzaga (from the Hebrew 
chazakah, meaning right of possession), 
and everyone who held such a lease valued 
it highly, since it assured him and his 
family of a roof over their heads, and pro- 
tected him from the wanton treatment of 
grasping landlords. This jus gazzaga was 
handed down in families from generation 
to generation, and they who possessed it 
were regarded as remarkably fortunate, — 
fortunate to be assured of the right of 
dwelling in a close, confined, miserable 
corner of the city! But the Jew had to 
be thankful not only for a dwelling place, 
but for the mere right to live. 

In reference to this jus gazzaga, or 
possession of leaseholds of the houses in 
the Ghetto, Alexander VII (1655 — 1667) 
issued a decree favorable to converted 
Jews. The popes made continual efforts 
to convert the Jews by every method in 
their power, as will be noticed later on. 
At times they succeeded, and naturally 
these converted Jews were not regarded 
with the most affectionate feelings by their 

1 34 Old Etiropean yewrics, 

former brethren in faith. Now, it happened 
at times that a converted Jew was in posses- 
sion of a jtis gazzaga. He, of course, 
could move out of the Ghetto, and Hve 
wherever he desired ; that was one of the 
inducements held out for conversion. 
Thereby his house in the Ghetto, of which 
he held the perpetual lease, became va- 
cant, and he was anxious to rent it, since 
he had to pay rent to the Roman owner. 
The Jews, however, banded themselves 
toy;cthcr, and agreed not to rent such 
houses, in order to injure the faithless and 
keep others from accepting Christianity. 
Alexander, therefore, issued a brief in 
1657, to the effect that the Jews of the 
Ghetto, as a community, had to make 
good the rent of such houses as long as 
they stood empty. In 1658 he issued a 
further decree in regard to the jus gaz- 
zaga. Since the Jews, without the know- 
ledge of the owners of the houses, often 
sold this J71S on burdensome conditions ; 
since they made contracts and gave mort- 
gages on it, so that it became difficult for 
the owners to collect their rents ; since 

The Ghetto of Rome. 135 

they took undertenants into the houses, by 
whom the property was ruined, the own- 
ers incurring the cost of repair ; since 
they often left houses arbitrarily, and 
mutually agreed that no Jew should rent 
certain ones, the pope issued the same law 
as in regard to the houses whose lease- 
holds were in the possession of converted 
Jews, viz., the community of the Ghetto 
had to pay the rent of such houses to the 
landlords. Houses in the Ghetto were 
valuable ; even when empty they filled the 
coffers of their owners. 

The story of the relations between the 
popes and the Jews does not belong here, 
except in so far as it especially affected the 
community of Rome. The spiritual juris- 
diction of the popes extended over the 
whole Catholic world, and their repeated 
decrees against Jewish books, the Talmud 
in particular; their dealings with the In- 
quisition in its efforts to root out the se- 
cret Jews in Spain, Portugal and Italy- 
their edicts in regard to the attire of the 
Jews; the association of Jews with Chris- 
tians ; the employment of Christian ser- 

136 Old Europea7t yewries. 

vantsand nurses by Jews, and many other 
laws of the same import affected the 
Roman Ghetto only as a part of the com- 
munity of European Jews. But there 
were points in which the Jews of Rome 
stood in special relations to the pope. 

It has been stated that the popes were, 
for the most part, kind masters, and that 
the lot of the Jews in the papal capital 
was better than elsewhere.^^ The Jews 
of Rome escaped the terrible persecu- 
tions, the bloody massacres, the fright- 
ful accusations, the heartless expulsions 
that mark the history of their brethren 
in France. England, Germany, Spain, 
Portugal and Austria. They were sub- 
jected to indignities, but to nothing more 
serious. They were often molested, and 
pettily persecuted ; they were made the 
objects of scorn and mockery, not of 
murder and pillage. Rome was fre- 
quently a place of refuge, and often re- 
ceived them when they were driven out 
of other Italian states and other countries. 
The clemency of many of the popes was 
due to the fact that they were the tem- 

The Ghetto of Rome, 1 3 7 

poral rulers of the city, and whenever 
their material interests clashed with the 
spiritual legislation in regard to the Jews, 
the former being the nearer concern ob- 
tained prime consideration.^ The Jews 
were useful citizens in times of need, and 
often aided the popes with money in their 
struggles with rival powers. As every- 
where, the Jew's money was his weapon. 
Up to the pontificate of Paul I V, their con- 
dition in Rome was bearable. Such popes 
as Gregory the Great, Alexander III, Ho- 
norius III, Gregory IX, Nicholas IV, were 
really kind and benevolently disposed to- 
wards them. But from the day of Paul 
IV, with the exceptions already noted, the 
bull Cum nimis absurdum became the 
charter of the Jews of Rome, **the pivot 
upon which their life and history revolved." 
Even before the official institution of 
the Ghetto by Paul IV, it was customary 
for the Jewish community of Rome to 
assist in welcoming the new pope on his 
entrance into the city. This entrance 
resembled a triumphal march, and was a 
magnificent spectacle. The Jews did 

1 38 Old European yewries. 

homage to the new pope, and usually 
from his reception of them they learned 
whether the coming years would bring 
weal or woe. The first mention of the 
participation of the Jews in welcoming the 
pope is in the time of Calixtus II, at 
whose entrance in 11 20 the plaudits of 
the Jews mingled with those of the Ro- 
mans. They usually met the pope with 
the scroll of the Law. When Innocent 
II, in 1 138, entered Rome, the Jews ap- 
proached him on his way to the Lateran 
palace, bent the knee before him, and 
handed their scroll to him in sign of hom- 
age. He answered, *' We praise and 
honor the Law, for it was given your 
fathers by Almighty God through Moses. 
But we condemn your cult and your false 
interpretation of the Law, for you await 
the Redeemer in vain ; the apostolic faith 
teaches us that our Lord Jesus Christ has 
already appeared." When Eugenius III 
entered upon the pontifical office in 1145, 
Jews were present at the great celebra- 
tion, carrying the Mosaic Law on their 
shoulders. Alexander III, in 1165, was 

The Ghetto of Rome. 139 

received by a vast multitude, among them 
the Jews, carrying their Law in their arms 
according to custom. A great multitude 
of priests, laymen and Jews in 1187 ac- 
corded Clement Ilia hearty welcome amid 
songs and praises.^ The method of the 
reception of the Jews was definitely fixed. 
In the description of the pope's welcome, 
we read in the Ordo Romamis : ''And 
the Jews come with their Law, make 
obeisance, and offer him the Law for him 
to honor it, and then the pope commends 
the Law, and condemns the cult and 
interpretation of the Jews, because they 
say that the Redeemer will come, while 
the Church teaches and preaches that the 
Lord Jesus Christ has already come.'* 
The Jews on these occasions usually stood 
arrayed on the Monte Guardano, or at the 
Arch of Titus, which lay on the road of 
the pope to the Vatican. The Arch of 
Titus, one of the most valued remains of 
antiquity, was erected after the conquest 
of Jerusalem by Titus. On its frieze is 
the figure of an old man on a bier, repre- 
senting the river Jordan ; on the arch 

1 40 Old European Jewries, 

itself are pictured the seven-branched 
golden candlestick, the golden table, the 
ark and the silver trumpets, all connected 
with the worship of the Temple. To the 
Jews this arch embodied the loss of thciir 
land. It seemed to them to bespeak their 
shame and humiliation, and no Jew of 
Rome ever passed through it ; he always 
made a detour, and passed around the 

The Jews, standing in these public 
places, became the objects of scorn for the 
Roman populace ; the gamins jeered and 
mocked them, the populace subjected 
them to insult and contumely. As a re- 
sult of their request to be saved from this 
treatment. Innocent VIII permitted them 
in 1484 to appear in the inner space of the 
Castello St. Angelo. In 1513 Leo X re- 
ceived them at the gate of this castle. 
They reached him the Law for his confir- 
mation. The pope took it, and said : 
Confirmamus sed non consenlimus, ** We 
confirm, but do not assent." This was the 
last time that this ceremony took place. 

One of the greatest indignities to which 

The Ghetto of Rome. 141 

the Jews of Rome were subjected was their 
compulsory participation in the races on 
the Corso at the carnival. The populace 
demanded as a great source of pleasure 
that Jews run in the races. Paul II, in 
1468, instituted these races, and amid the 
gibes and jeers of the attendant crowds, 
a number of Jews were forced annually to 
participate ; their companions in the races 
were asses, buffaloes and Barbary horses. 
What rare sport it was for the Roman 
populace to see the victims of their scorn 
and contempt come forth, with no cover- 
ing but a cloth about their loins, and run 
the length of the Corso on an equal foot- 
ing with animals ! The weak degraded 
by the strong ! So was it always in Rome : 
none too low, none too degraded to 
consider himself above the wretched in- 
habitants of the Ghetto, whose very right 
of residence depended on their doing the 
will of their superiors. How the crowds 
laughed and shouted with delight at the 
sight of the Jews racing ! How the 
Christians pointed the finger of scorn, 
and noble and gamin, cardinal and beggar. 

142 Old European Jewries. 

flung insult and contumely at the miserable 
ones! Time and again the Jews begged 
to be spared this disgrace, but for two 
centuries they were forced to endure it, 
and only in 1668 Clement IX lent a fav- 
orable ear to their entreaty, and granted 
them the request to be freed from the 
shame. In lieu of appearing on the race 
course they paid 300 scudi yearly to the 
papal treasury. 

It was understood that the Jews lived 
in Rome only on sufferance, and yearly 
they had to perform the ceremony of 
asking permission to dwell there another 
year. On the first day of the carnival, 
the heads of the Jewish community ap- 
peared before the council of the city as 
a deputation from the Jews. They pros- 
trated themselves, and presented a bouquet 
and twenty scudi to be used in decorating 
the balcony on which the Roman senate 
sat during the carnival. This deputation 
at the same time requested the senate to 
permit the Jews to remain in Rome. A 
senator placed his foot on the forehead of 
the Jews, bade them rise, and told them. 

The Ghetto of Rome. 1 43 

in the words of a traditional formula, that 
the Jews were not taken into Rome as 
citizens, but were suffered in charity.'**' 
This humiliation, too, they were spared in 
1847 t>y P*us IX. but in 1850 thty still 
had to appear at the Capitol on the first 
day of the carnival to express their sub- 
mission, and pay a tribute of eight hun- 
dred scudi in remembrance of the favor 
that they were excused from taking part 
in the races and furnishing amusement 
to the people at this time. 

One of the great objects of the popes 
was to convert the Jews to Christianity by 
any means whatsoever, since they firmly 
believed that by this they were accomplish- 
ing an important and holy work. From 
their standpoint, they looked upon the 
Jews as lost. They attributed the refusal 
to accept Christianity to obstinacy and 
blindness. Various methods were em- 
ployed by them, but the strangest of all 
was that introduced by Pope Gregory XIII 
at the instigation of a converted Jew, 
Joseph Tzarfati. In his bull, Sancta mater 
ccclesia, of September 1, 1584, he com- 

1 44 Old European yewrics. 

manded that in all places where there was a 
sufficient number of Jews, a sermon should 
be preached to them on the truths of 
Christianity every Saturday. '°' This ser- 
mon was designated prcdica coattiva. All 
Jews above the age of twelve, unless pre- 
vented by sickness, or some other adequate 
excuse to be given to the bishop, were to 
attend, so that always at least one-third of 
the Jewish population was to be pres- 
ent. This was carried out in Rome, es- 
pecially in the eighteenth century. On 
Saturday afternoon, the strange sight 
of the police driving men, women, and 
children over twelve to church with whips, 
could be witnessed in the Roman Ghetto. 
Saturday afternoon was chosen, because 
it was thought that the words preached to 
them in the church, setting forth the doc- 
trines and truths of Christianity, compared 
with the teachings of Judaism listened to 
in the morning in the synagogue, would 
appear so far superior and so much more 
worthy of acceptance that they would 
be converted easily. At first one hun- 
dred and fifty had to appear, but the num- 

The Ghetto of Rome. 145 

ber was later made three hundred. At 
the entrance of the church stood a watch- 
man, who counted those that entered to 
make sure that the number was full. In 
the church, the police made the people 
pay attention ; if anyone appeared inat- 
tentive, or under the soporific influence of 
the sermon fell asleep, he was aroused by 
blows of the whip. The preacher, usually 
a Dominican, took as his text some pas- 
sage from the Bible read in the morning 
in the synagogue, and gave the Catholic in- 
terpretation. These services were first 
held in the church of San Benedetto alia 
Regola, afterwards in the church of San 
Angelo in Pescaria.'®^ Needless to say, 
the effort proved entirely fruitless ; from 
a weekly it dropped into an occasional 
service, held five times, a year. It was 
gradually dying out when Leo XII re- 
vived it in 1824, and it was finally abol- 
ished in 1847, ^h^ fi^st year of Pius IX. 
It was not due to lack of zeal on the part 
of the popes and the church that the Jews 
did not adopt Christianity. The greatest 
inducements were held out to converts : 


146 Old European Jewries. 

they were released from the Ghetto, and 
granted all civil rights and privileges. 
Some converts, of course, there were, and 
there can be no doubt that in the veins of 
many bearing proud, old, Roman aristocra- 
tic names the blood of these converted Jews 
flows. At the ceremony adopting a Jew into 
Christianity, always performed with great 
show and pomp, ad majorem Dei et eccle- 
sice gloriam, some member of the highest 
aristocracy frequently stood sponsor, and 
as in ancient Rome the client took the name 
of his patrician patron, so here the con- 
verted Jew took that of his aristocratic 
sponsor.'*^ His descendants are known 
by that name, and are looked upon as a 
branch of that noble family. As a con- 
stant reminder of their obduracy in not 
accepting Christianity, there was, opposite 
the Ghetto, on a chapel near the bridge 
Quattro Capi, a picture of the crucifixion 
with the verse Isaiah LXV, 2: '*I spread out 
my hands all the time unto a rebellious peo- 
ple, that walk in the way which is not 
good." The unremitting efforts at con- 
version met with partial success. A num- 

The Ghetto of Rome, 147 

ber of Jews adopted Christianity in 
order to improve their lot in life, and 
the careers of some of these apostates 
and their descendants are so brilliant, 
striking and surprising that they may well 
excite wonder. I mention one, because 
of the strange fact that a descendant of 
the despised Jews rose to the highest 
position in the Catholic world, a sufficient 
excuse for introducing a short account of 
his career. It is stated in various accounts 
that the anti-pope Anacletus II, who main- 
tained himself against Innocent II and the 
greater portion of the Catholic clergy, 
was of Jewish descent. "°5 Anacletus was 
supported in his claim by the Romans, 
Sicilians and Milanese. He compelled his 
rival to flee from Rome twice, and main- 
tained his position until the time of his 
death, in the year 1 138. The following ac- 
count of Anacletus and his family will 
leave no room for doubt as to his Jewish 
origin : 

In the eleventh and twelfth centuries the 
Roman Jewish family Pierleoni acquired 
great riches, and having become converted 

1 48 Old European Jewries, 

to Christianity, played a great r6le in Rome 
and in the church. The anti-pope Ana- 
cletus II (i 130 — 1 138), the cause of much 
dissension in Rome and in the church, was 
a scion of this family. '°^ About the middle 
of the eleventh century, Benedict, the head 
of the family, was baptized, and married a 
lady of the Roman nobility. His son, Leo, 
and his grandson, Peter Leon, with whom 
the name Pierleoni begins, belonged to the 
grandees of Rome ; they also bore the 
title of consul. They had built their 
castle at the entrance of the Ghetto, 
next to the bridge leading to the island of 
the Tiber, and this island was ruled by 
them ; even the tower of the Crescent 
was intrusted to them by Pope Urban II in 
1098. In the struggle between the popes 
and the emperors regarding the investi- 
ture, they always took the part of the popes. 
Urban II had died in 1099, in the castle of 
Leo, the leader of the papal party, the only 
place where he had felt secure. Leo's son, 
Peter, in the name of Pope Pascal II, con- 
ducted the negotiations regarding the in- 
vestiture with Emperor Henry V, before 

TJu Ghetto of Rome. 1 49 

his coronation in 1 1 10. He died in 1128, and 
one epitaph extols his piety, while another 
praises him ** as a man unexcelled in riches 
and glory."'**^ He had sought to pro- 
cure for one of his sons the highly im- 
portant office of prefect of the city, but 
had failed because a powerful party was 
opposed to him. One of his daughters 
became the wife of King Roger, of Sicily, 
and another son, also named Peter, first 
appeared as a monk in Cluny. Then through 
the efforts of his father he became cardi- 
nal, and finally, in the year 11 30, he was 
chosen anti-pope with the appellation An- 
acletus n. According to contemporary 
writers, whose testimony, however, must 
be used with much care, this family never 
entirely lost its Jewish type, either physi- 
cally or mentally.'"* These writers also say 
that with keen foresight they ranged them- 
selves on the side of the reform popes, and 
acquired the highest political influence. 
The ancestor of the family had amassed 
an immense fortune by money transactions, 
and the rest followed in his footsteps. His 
numerous descendants intermarried largely 

1 50 Old Etiropean yezvries. 

with the Roman grandees. The re- 
mainder of the nobility, however, hated 
them as upstarts. 

The picture which these chroniclers 
draw of Anacletus is not very flattering. 
No doubt they were influenced by a parti- 
san spirit, as they were all strongly in 
favor of I nnocent, his rival. "^ One reports 
that Peter, the father of the pope, had 
the reputation of being an execrable 
usurer, and was, therefore, most bitterly 
hated. Walter, archbishop of Ravenna, 
calls the schism of Anacletus a " heresy 
of Jewish perfidy." St. Bernard com- 
plains that a descendant of the Jews oc- 
cupies the chair of Peter, and that this is 
an afifront to Christ. Another designates 
him as an avaricious and inordinately am- 
bitious man. Innocent II, the rival 
claimant to the papal throne, himself 
wrote to Emperor Lothair, who sided 
with him, that Peter Leon, i. e., Anacle- 
tus, had been striving for the papal crown 
for a long time, and had obtained posses- 
sion of it by means of violence, bloodshed 
and robbery ; that he imprisoned pilgrims 

The Ghetto of Rome, 1 5 1 

who came from a distance to visit the 
graves of the apostles, and tortured them 
by every means, hunger, thirst, etc. 
Innocent, in a letter to Hugo, Archbishop 
of Rouen, also calls the action of Anacle- 
tus ** insane Jewish perfidy.""® 

Anacletus died on the 25th of January, 
1 138. His relatives buried him quietly in 
an unknown spot.'" Shortly thereafter 
they, with all their adherents, submitted 
to Innocent. 

Evidently this anti-pope was neither 
better nor worse than the great majority of 
the occupants of the papal chair of that 
time. If contemporary writers may be 
believed, he employed every means to 
compass his ends. In one point they all 
seem to be agreed, viz., that he was of 
Jewish descent, and this, as a matter of 
course, made him much more despicable 
in their eyes than all the deeds of vio- 
lence. His career furnishes a very in- 
teresting episode in the history of the 
Jews of Rome. 

A few words more on the subject of 
conversions. There were houses or liomes 

1 5 2 Old European yewrics. 

for catechumens, a monastery for males, a 
convent for females, where all such Jews as 
were in the least likely to be converted were 
kept, taught and supported until the time 
of their conversion. If he had once con- 
sented, by word or sign, to adopt Chris- 
tianity, there was no possibility for the 
Jew to retract. There are many in- 
stances on record of men and women, 
who, regretting their resolve, desired to 
return to the Jewish community before 
their conversion, but were not permitted ; 
some met death, others imprisonment, as 
a result of their constancy. The affirma- 
tion of a witness, that he had heard a Jew 
express the intention to adopt Christianity, 
a remark dropped in conversation, a ges- 
ture, was considered evidence sufficient, 
and the papal police were sent into the 
Ghetto to seize the candidate, to search 
for him if he could not be found at once, and 
to bring him into the house of the catechu- 
mens by force, if necessary."' The follow- 
ing two instances illustrate the methods 
employed: "On the 5th of May, 1605, 
Stella, the daughter of Jacob, was brought 

The Ghetto of Rome. 1 5 3 

into the convent, because one of her rela- 
tives, a catechumen, affirmed that, in his 
hearing, she had expressed the wish to be- 
come a Christian. After resisting for 
twenty-five days, she consented to abjure 
her faith. She was baptized under the 
name of Hortense.""^ 

**0n April 26, 1689, upo>^ the declara- 
tion of two witnesses, the protector of the 
catechumens sent some soldiers into the 
Ghetto to seize a young girl nineteen 
years old. The Jews hid her ; her mother 
and brother were arrested, and the young 
girl had to surrender herself. She did not 
renounce Judaism until the fifth day of 
the following January.""^ 

It was with children that the conver- 
sionists scored their greatest success. If 
a Christian took a Jewish child in the 
absence of its parents, and had it baptized, 
it was considered a bona fide conversion. 
In spite of the protests of the parents, 
the tears of the mother, the agony of the 
father, their child was kept from them, and 
raised as a Christian, and the parents per- 
haps never saw it more. The Mortara 

1 54 Old European yewries. 

case, in this century, was typical of many 
that occurred in the zeal for converting 
Jews. Any means were considered legiti- 

Intercourse between the catechumen 
and his co-religionists was forbidden 
under penalty of the whipping-post and a 
fine of twenty-five crowns; this prohibi- 
tion included entering the Ghetto, eating, 
drinking, sleeping with Jews, or even 
speaking to them. A catechumen appre- 
hended in conversation with his own 
father or mother was severely punished 
either by fine, bastinado or exile. 

After the catechumen had expressed 
his readiness to accept the faith, the sac- 
raments were administered to him on 
some feast day, either Epiphany or Pen- 
tecost. Usually the pope himself was 
present ; the presiding cardinal addressed 
the multitude at length upon the miracle 
about to take place ; thereupon the con- 
vert, clothed in white satin, was led 
through the streets of the city in a car- 
riage, that the citizens might be edified by 
the sight, and everybody might attest the 

The Ghetto of Rome, 1 5 5 

conversion. If the convert was married, 
his conversion annulled his Jewish marri- 
age, and he could wed a Christian without 
ado. There was in Rome a society, the 
Brotherhood of St. Joseph, whose especial 
object it was to convert Jews; this broth- 
erhood was favored greatly by the popes. 
Large resources were required to further 
its work and to support the houses of the 
catechumens. Whence obtain the funds? 
What portion of the community should be 
taxed to carry on the holy work of convert- 
ing Jews? Who was benefited more by 
these saintly proceedings than Jews them- 
selves? Therefore, let the Jewish com- 
munities be taxed for this purpose. Truly, 
a brilliant thought ! The Jews themselves 
were to furnish the sinews of war for the 
proselytizing campaigns of Christianity 
among their own. Julius III, in his bull, 
]\isloris cBterni vices, of August 31, 1554, 
was the first to impose this tax ; ten florins 
per synagogue was the quota he named. 
Later, this was increased greatly, and in 
the period from 1565 to 1568 ten Jewish 
communities of Italy were compelled to 
contribute 5238 crowns for this purpose."' 

156 Old European Je^vries, 

The most active proselytizing zeal of 
the popes with regard to the Jews coin- 
cides with the period of the Protestant 
Reformation, as though they wished to 
offset the losses occasioned by the lapses 
from Catholicism to Protestantism by ac- 
cessions from the Jews. 

Vain hope ! not all the promises of 
favor succeeded in compassing that end in 
more than a slight degree. Amid all the 
horrors of the Ghetto, the great majority 
of the Jews remained true to their inherited 
faith even though renunciation meant the 
enjoyment of all the rights and benefits of 
which, as Jews, they were deprived. 

In 1 71 2, Clement XI transferred the 
property and the privileges of the Brother- 
hood of St. Joseph, the fraternity that 
exercised care and protection over the 
catechumens, to the Pii Operai,^^^ -who con- 
tinued the work, but at present their 
activity as agents for the conversion of 
the Jews has well nigh ceased."^ 

The Jewish community of Rome, al- 
though under the jurisdiction of the popes, 
was still, in a measure, autonomous. Nat- 

The Ghetto of Rome. 157 

urally, Jewish life centred in the syn- 
agogue. This was situated in the Piazza 
di Scuola or Temple Court. The build- 
ing consisted of five synagogues com- 
bined, the Catalonian, the Sicilian, the 
Castilian, the New Synagogue and the 
Temple proper."^ In all likelihood, they 
received their names from the different 
rituals used, and were probably founded by 
exiles from various countries who sought 
refuge in Rome. These synagogues, 
though virtually distinct, were all united 
into one building, because the Jews were 
not permitted to have more than one 
house of worship. The structure was de- 
stroyed by fire in the winter of 1893, and 
many valuable relics were consumed in 
the flames. All the ddbris of prayer books, 
Bibles, etc., rescued from the fire was buried 
in the cemetery, and a memorial stone is 
to be erected over the spot. 

The Jewish community of Rome was 
looked up to by the other Italian Jewish 
communities as having a certain pre-emi- 
nence. The rabbi's influence was prepon- 
derating. The executive heads of the com- 

1 58 Old European Jewries. 

munity were the three fattori; they regu- 
lated the taxes, and superintended the 
weekly distribution of alms to the poor. 
They were held responsible by the pope 
for the good order of the Ghetto. The 
legislative body of the Ghetto was the 
council of sixty; its duty was the regula- 
tion of the internal life of the Ghetto; it 
named the officers, chose the rabbi, and 
exercised the right of excommunication. 
As may be readily understood, its power 
was only advisory. Its decisions had to 
be sanctioned by the papal officer who had 
jurisdiction over the Ghetto. 

The edict of Pius VI issued on April 5, 
1775, remains to be mentioned. It has 
been termed " the blackest page in the 
history of mankind.""' It consisted of 
forty-four paragraphs, and repeated, in the 
harshest manner, all the old restrictive 
legislation in reference to Jews. The 
thirty-seventh paragraph may be given 
here as the last official expression bearing 
upon our subject : 

•* Jews of both sexes may not live outside 
of the Ghettos. They may not sojourn in 

The Ghetto of Rome. 1 59 

villages, on country estates, in castles, 
parks or anywhere else on any pretext 
whatsoever, not even on the plea that 
they require change of air, and if they re- 
quire such change, and they wish to go 
away and remain even one day, they must 
be particular — according to the decree of 
the holy assembly of May 19, 1751, agree- 
ing with a like decree of Alexander VII, 
of September 6, 1661 — to secure a written 
permission in which must be contained 
the name, the surname and the descent of 
the Jew, the legal ground upon which 
the permission was granted him, the length 
of time of its validity, together with the 
conditions that the Jews must wear the 
sign on the hat as is directed above in Ar- 
ticle 20, and that they may not live with 
Christians, nor associate with them in 
friendly companionship. Upon return, 
they shall give back the permit to the 
court from which they received it under 
pain of a fine of three hundred scudi, im- 
prisonment and other discretional penal- 
ties for every act of disobedience." 

The inhumanity that breathes in this 

1 60 Old European Jewries. 

decree is characteristic of the whole edict. 
The saturnine spirit of Paul IV lived again 
in Pius VI. But temporary relief at least 
was coming for the victims of centuries of 
persecution. In 1798, Pius VI, after the 
occupation of Rome by the army of the 
French Republic, left the city never to 
return. The Roman Republic was pro- 
claimed. The Jews profited by the new 
state of things. Although the French oc- 
cupied the city a little less than two years, 
and later the old condition of affairs was 
in part re-established, yet one of the great- 
est indignities to which the Jews had been 
subjected was abolished at this time. On 
July 9, 1798, the distinguishing mark that 
the Jews had been forced to wear was 
officially abolished by an edict of General 
St. Cyr. 

In 1800, the new pope, Pius VII, en- 
tered Rome. He evinced kindly feeling 
toward his Jewish subjects, although he 
did nothing effectual to improve their con- 
dition. In 1808 the French again occu- 
pied Rome. The pope was led away a 
prisoner. The affairs of the Jews were 

The Ghetto of Route. 1 6 1 

taken in hand by the French. They were 
given equal rights with all citizens. The 
gates of the Ghetto were not locked at 
night. They were granted permission to 
carry on any trade. This meant a great 
deal, for Innocent XIII, in renewing Paul 
IV's infamous bull, had added thereto, in 
1 724, the restriction that the Jews of Rome 
be permitted to ply no trade but that of 
dealing in old clothes, rags and iron. A 
few years later, in 1740, Benedict XIV 
extended this by allowing them to deal 
also in new clothes. Their freedom, how- 
ever, lasted but a short time. Pius VII 
returned to Rome in 18 14 after the de- 
parture of the French. Although the new 
regulations that had been instituted by 
the French were annulled, yet the condi- 
tion of affairs was an improvement upon 
what it had been before the French in- 
vasion. The pope permitted the Jews to 
open stores in the vicinity of the Ghetto 
outside of its walls. A small number of 
families were also permitted to live outside 
of the Ghetto. 

His successor, Leo XII (1823 — 1829), 

1 62 Old European Jewries. . 

gave the Jews the right to acquire houses 
over and beyond those covered by the jus 
gazzaga. He increased the number of 
the gates of the Ghetto to eight, which 
were closed every night. He legislated for 
the most part in the old spirit, and many of 
the more prominent families emigrated 
from Rome to other lands, where Jews 
enjoyed greater freedom. The next popes, 
Pius VHI (1829 — 1830), and Gregory 
XVI (183 1 — 1 846), did nothing for the bet- 
termemt of the lot of their Jewish subjects. 
But even Rome had to pay regard to 
the spirit of liberation and emancipation 
abroad everywhere in Europe, and, in 
1847, the new pope, Pius IX, who had 
lately ascended the papal throne, deter- 
mined to have the gates and walls of the 
Ghetto destroyed, and to permit the Jews 
to dwell anywhere in the city. On the 
eve of Passover, April 1 7, 1 848, strange 
sounds were heard by the Jews, who were 
celebrating their feast. Often in the 
past had sounds and noises on that night 
struck terror to the hearts of the Jewish 
inhabitants of more than one Ghetto. But 


The G hello of Rome. 1 63 

too frequently on this occasion had ene- 
mies and excited mobs accused them of hav- 
ing murdered a Christian to use his blood at 
their feast. Faces blanched and limbs 
trembled, for the poor creatures knew 
well what misery and trouble that \\t 
always bore in its train.'" For once, the 
sounds from without on the Passover eve 
bore a joyful message. The purpose of 
demolishing the walls of the Ghetto had 
been kept a secret from the Jews of Rome, 
and when they learned the import of the 
blows that resounded in the night, what 
joy, what happiness was theirs ! At last 
the walls of the Ghetto were removed, 
and they were free men like all others ! 
But their joy was not of long duration. 
The policy of Pius IX was liberal in 
the first two years of his reign, but a 
reactionary movement set in after the 
revolutions of 1848, and the Ghetto was re- 
established. For twenty-two years longer, 
despite the removal of Ghettos every- 
where, it continued to stand, a reproach 
to the city. In 1870, the Jews themselves 
took the matter in hand, and prepared a 

164 Old European Jewries, 

remarkable petition, begging for the aboli- 
tion of the Ghetto, and setting forth their 
sad plight. The opening portion of this 
important document (first published a few 
years ago),"' which graphically describes 
the horrors of the Ghetto and the misery 
of its inhabitants, may properly find a 
place here. The Jews of Rome addressed 
the ruler under whose power they lived, 
and in whose mercy they trusted, as fol- 
lows : 

** Most Holy Father ! The elders and 
the delegates of the Jewish community of 
Rome, faithful subjects of your Holiness, 
prostrate themselves before your exalted 
throne, and offer the assurance of the 
continued loyalty of their co-religionists. 
This feeling of loyalty is the result of the 
many conspicuous deeds of kindness which 
we, O Holy Father, have experienced at 
your hands, and we are now animated by 
the pleasant sensation of hope, since your 
exalted will has consented to receive new 
petitions in its name. In fulfilment of the 
duty imposed on them, the petitioners 
presume humbly and reverently to lay be- 


The Ghetto of Rome. 165 

fore your holy wisdom and mildness the 
present, exceedingly wretched condition of 
their co-religionists. May you deign to cast 
a gracious glance from your exalted throne 
upon those, who, though Israelites, are a 
portion of your people. 

Your Holiness gave them permission 
to occupy houses for dwelling and business 
purposes beyond the boundaries set in 
earlier times. They have gradually per- 
ceived that this concession has not pro- 
duced the beneficial effects which, without 
doubt, lay in the thought of your Holi- 
ness. The stfeets which by that conces- 
sion they could use are very narrow. 
Room for residence purposes has been 
further diminished by the palaces and re- 
ligious institutions here and there, so that 
many families that otherwise would have 
removed from the old section remained 
there. Therefore the contiguity of the 
houses and the massing of the inhabitants, 
with all the resultant evils, continue much 
as they were twenty-two years ago. 

These evils are most noticeable in 
Azinelle, Catalana and Fiumara streets. 

1 66 Old Eicropcan yezvrics. 

These, inhabited for the most part by the 
poorest classes, chiefly rag-pickers and sel- 
lers of old soles, defy all the laws of health. 
In the streets Azinelle and Catalana, 
light and air are very scarce. Seldom or 
never does a ray of the sun penetrate there; 
yet small, narrow ground-floors must serve 
for dwellings and stores. This condition 
of affairs brings forth even worse results 
in Fiumara street, which lies so low that 
whenever the Tiber rises floods ensue, and 
the dampness which remains long after 
the water has receded becomes a source 
of disease, jeopardizing health and often 
life. The prohibition to have stores 
outside of the set boundaries, considered 
from another point of view, is no less in- 
jurious to the Israelites. They meet with 
difficulties, sometimes insuperable, if they 
desire to devote their activity to some oc- 
cupation besides trading, more particularly 
trading in clothes. They cast their eye 
upon many branches of industry, art and 
science; but in the condition to which they 
have been degraded, they can entertain no 
hope of entering upon any other career. 

The Ghetto of Rome, 1 6 7 

In the retail and wholesale branches of the 
clothing business, which formerly they 
controlled, foreign and home competitors 
have arisen in the past few decades. These 
competitors, with their magnificent stores 
situated in the most populous and the 
richest portions of the city, have drawn 
greatly from the trade of the Israelites, 
confined, as they arc, to a single and less 
prominent section. As a result, many 
have been entirely ruined ; others have 
continued to eke out a living with care 
and trouble ; still others, the richest men 
of the community, discouraged by their 
losses, deprived of the right to own real es- 
tate, which would have secured their for- 
tune, have emigrated to other lands, leav- 
ing the great majority to whom they had 
given help and imparted advice. These 
now of necessity sink to even lower 
depths of wretchedness. 

It certainly does not escape your wise 
insight. Holy Father, how such a concur- 
rence of difficulties must greatly increase 
the burdens of the pious Israelitish insti- 
tutions, which were founded, and arc al- 

1 68 Old European y civvies, 

most entirely supported by private charity. 
For, owing to the above mentioned emigra- 
tion of those families who formerly man- 
aged the different institutions, and en- 
deavored, with great zeal and love, to im- 
prove them, only sparse and occasional 
revenues remain to meet the greatest and 
most pressing needs. The difficulties of 
providing for their own support, prevent 
those to whom the management of these 
institutions has now fallen from devoting 
themselves to the work, all the more neces- 
sary since destitution is continually in- 
creasing. This community has not suffi- 
cient means to alleviate the want, for its 
status as fixed by law and its poverty 
prevent any attempt towards that end from 
being successful. 

The Jewish community has, it is true, 
founded an elementary school for religious 
and civic instruction, but impelled by 
hunger, the son of poor parents leaves 
school while of tender years in order 
to procure the piece of bread with which 
his parents cannot supply him, and to look 
for a rag with which to cover his naked- 

The Ghetto of Rome. 1 69 

ness. Pack-carrier, rag-picker, vender of 
matches, messenger and waiter, buyer of 
old soles, water carrier, bearer of burdens, 
he becomes, and never, never anything 
else ! No other nourishment for his intel- 
lectual and moral nature ! His forehead — 
persecutions have pressed the seal of con- 
tempt on it — cannot boast of the noble 
sweat of work, his hand cannot show the 
honorable hardness of the workman's. 
Abandoned to his poverty, deprived of all 
means to combat it energetically, he eventu- 
ally comes to identify himself completely 
with his misery. He cannot even hope 
for an alleviation of his condition such as 
others can find in the tasks which the mu- 
nicipality provides. He instinctively feels 
that he has been robbed of the most pre- 
cious possessions here below, and in his 
despair he loses all consciousness of his 
human dignity. He celebrates weddings 
which have no joy for him ; even the fam- 
ily loses its exalted character. In the 
dismal room, exposed to all the influences 
of bitter poverty, a single bed stands, upon 
which, regardless of every consideration of 

1 yo Old European yetvrics, 

health and chastity, parents and the troop 
of children of every age and sex lie down 
together. The governing body of the 
community, indeed, takes account of the 
moral disorder and the diseases which such 
a state of affairs causes ; but how can any 
preventive measures be effectually adopted 
when there are hundreds and hundreds of 
such families ! And although you, Holy 
Father, took this community, too, under 
the wings of your exalted kindness, and gave 
it a share of the state charities, yet did 
those unto whom the carrying out of the 
merciful act of the great sovereign was in- 
trusted, devote but three hundred scudi to 
this purpose, notwithstanding the fact that 
more than two thousand poor are enrolled 
for weekly alms. Those of moderate means 
exhaust their resources in the struggle 
with the burdens which they are compelled 
to bear, viz., the taxes which they have to 
pay in common with the whole population, 
and the special tax imposed on their re- 
ligious community. They are also obliged, 
besides paying other taxes of the congre- 
gation, to give a fixed sum yearly to two 

The Ghetto of Rome, i 7 1 

Catholic foundations, the casa pia of the 
catechumens and the convent of the con- 
verts, two institutions for the conversion 
of Jews, and must pay the expenses of the 
governing body of the Jewish community, 
which consists of non-Jews. With each 
biennial renewal of the so-called tax for 
industry and capital, they complain of the 
continual increase of the sums they must 
expend in consequence of the falling off of 
other contributions due to business mis- 
fortunes, and they accuse the administra- 
tion of arbitrariness and injustice." 

The memorial then goes on to give at 
length a history of the Jewish community 
of Rome, dwelling upon the kindness of 
the popes towards the Jews and their fav- 
orable position up to the time of Paul IV. 
The later legislation, which, in spite of oc- 
casional intervals of clemency, gradually 
depressed and degraded the Jews, is set 
forth in detail. '*The unfortunates, op- 
pressed in the present, despairing of the 
future, excluded from civil rights, grew 
less and less familiar to the community at 
large, and at the same time more and 

1 72 Old European Jewries. 

more powerless to fight the slanders di- 
rected against their domestic and com- 
munal life, their religious belief and their 
history, so that their spiritual elasticity 
was lamed, and their naturally great en- 
ergy weakened. Thus they sank in the 
estimation of their fellow citizens, and 
what was still more deplorable, in that of 
the exalted popes by whom they had been 
so highly honored formerly." 

The petition adduces evidence from 
non-Jewish sources of the worth of many 
of the Jews of Rome, speaks of the re- 
markable careers of Jewish physicians 
who attended popes, cardinals and other 
dignitaries, calls attention to the learned 
Jews of Rome, such as Nathan ben Jechiel, 
compiler of the A ruck, the first Talmudi- 
cal dictionary, Immanucl, the poet, the 
friend of Dante, Giulio Romano, the phi- 
losopher, and others, and closes with the 
following strong prayer : 

"Accustomed as the undersigned are to 
bless your name, they hope not to have 
spoken in vain to your fatherly heart of 
the sad lot still theirs ; the insalubrity of 

The Ghetto of Rome. 173 

the old Jewish dweUings ; the exceedingly 
contracted space granted the Jews for 
homes ; the direct and indirect obstacles 
to the free pursuit of the trades, the fine 
arts and the larger number of industries ; 
the limited right to possess real estate ; 
the denial on the part of some notaries of 
their right to act as witnesses ; the alarm- 
ing increase of poverty ; the impotence of 
the Israelitish benevolent institutions to 
prevent or lessen misery ; the impropriety 
of the yearly appropriations paid by order 
of the finance commission to two Catholic 
institutions ; the alarm of the rich, who, in 
consequence of the mentioned burdens, 
arc subjected to many pecuniary sacri- 
fices required by their own religious 
foundations, and others which the indebt- 
edness of their benevolent institutions 
demands of them ; the inability to take 
energetic measures for the better educa- 
tion of the greatly increasing poorer class — 
all this (misery), O Holy Father, must 
appeal to you, in such a degree, that your 
own heart will find it advisable not to delay 
the carrying out of the good deed, for 

1 74 Old European Jewries. 

pauperes facti sumus nimts, we have be- 
come too impoverished, and the prayer 
which the undersigned whisper in the 
hearing of your Holiness is the prayer of 
forty-eight hundred of your subjects. 

Hear us, O Holy Father, so that the 
children of Israel may once again benefit 
by that noble generosity inseparably con- 
nected with your immortal name !" 

The day of deliverance, however, was 
at hand, arriving sooner than they had 
expected. While the Jews of Rome were 
preparing this petition for the final aboli- 
tion of the Ghetto, the pope was still mas- 
ter of the destinies of the city. But the 
occasion never came to present it, for the 
temporal sway of the pope came to an end, 
when on September 20, 1870, the Italian 
kingdom with Victor Immanuel as king 
was established. The Jews changed mas- 
ters. They welcomed their king enthusi- 
astically. New hopes were aroused in the 
Jewish community. The Ghettos estab- 
1 ished by the popes were virtually abolished. 
The Ghetto of Rome stood, it is true, fif- 
teen years longer. It was only in 1885 

The Ghetto of Rome. 1 75 

that it began to be demolished, having 
stood longer than any Ghetto in western 
Europe. But now this remnant of 
mediaeval exclusion has passed away. 
The Jews of Rome, with new opportuni- 
ties, are taking an honored position among 
their Italian countrymen. It is a long 
story of oppression, lasting just eighteen 
hundred years, from the destruction of 
the Temple of Jerusalem and the depor- 
tation of the Jewish captives to Rome in 
70, to the accession of Victor Immanuel 
in 1870. Eighteen hundred years ! 
Rome has had many masters. Emperors, 
northern conquerors, popes, Rienzi, pow- 
erful families, such as the Colonnas, Orsinis, 
Borgias, have appeared on the scene, and 
lived their short day. Through it all, in 
that wretched quarter on the Tiber, amid 
disadvantages inconceivable and under 
burdens vast, the Jewish community lived 
on, unchanged amid change, steadfast 
in oppression, firm in faith and trust in 
the God of their fathers ! The tocsin of 
freedom has sounded, and from out the 
dark hole of forced seclusion Judaism's 

1 76 Old European yeivrics, 

followers have issued into the broad light 
of liberty. Let others account for it as 
they may ; we see, in the long history and 
the continued existence of this people, the 
hand of Providence directing the course 
of those who lived and suffered for the 

May prosperity find the descendants of 
the Jews of the Ghetto as faithful as ad- 
versity found their ancestors ! 



Thttjndengasse of Frankfort has become 
a memory, the Jtcdenstadt of Prague has 
ceased to be the compulsory dwelling place 
of the Jews, the Ghetto of Rome has been 
demolished — everywhere in Europe relics 
of hostile legislation have disappeared be- 
fore the enlightened, tolerant spirit of the 
age. Everywhere ? Nay, not so. Wc 
should have said, everywhere west of the 
boundaries of the empire of the Tzar. 
There, in barbarous Russia, the mediaeval 
spirit still rules, and a Ghetto exists whose 
condition is more horrible perhaps than 
ever that of any Ghetto of earlier days. It 
stands forth in a blackness the more intense 
because of the sun of tolerance that 
shines everywhere else. It is not the 
Ghetto with which we have become ac- 
quainted thus far, a street or section set 
ai)art in a town or city, but a district set 

12 (177) 

1 7^ Old Europe an ycwrics. 

apart in a country. The Jew is told, ** only 
in certain sections of the land you may 
dwell." The Russian persecutions are 
the crime of the century, and this massing 
of millions of people within a compara- 
tively small section, and closing the whole 
of the remaining portion of the land against 
them is the height of malicious ingenuity. 
This Russian Ghetto is known as the 
Pale of Settlement. In the whole of Rus- 
sia, not counting Poland (for ** in stealing 
Poland, Russia had to take its Jews, too "), 
Jews are permitted to reside only in the 
following fifteen ^«^^r«/W:/ Wilna, Kowno, 
Vitebsk, Grodno, Minsk, Moghilev, Vol- 
hynia, Podolia, in West Russia ; Kiev 
(exclusive of the city of Kiev), Tcherni- 
gov and Poltava, in the Ukraine or Little 
Russia; Ekaterinoslav, Taurida (except 
Sebastopol), Kherson (except Nikolaiev), 
and Bessarabia, in South Russia. From 
Great Russia, from the provinces of Kazan 
and Astrakhan, from Finland and the Bal- 
tic Provinces they are entirely excluded.'" 
Even in the Pale of Settlement they are 
permitted to dwell in the cities only, and 

The Russian Ghetto, i 79 

thus there has been created a Pale within 
the Pale. What makes the crowding 
within these pens the harder to bear is the 
fact that for a time a little light had ap- 
peared, and the Jews had been permitted 
under certain conditions to dwell outside 
the Pale of Settlement. Alexander II 
had lightened the burden of the Jews some- 
what, and in 1865 had granted permission 
to dwell where they pleased to Jews in 
possession of university diplomas, to mer- 
chants of the first guild, and to artisans. 
Resides, Jews were tolerated in the princi- 
pal ports, such as Riga, Libau, Rostov. 
The number who had taken advantage of 
this permission reached hundreds of thou- 
sands. After the assassination of the 
humane Tzar, the evil days began. A 
spirit of fanaticism, fed by cries of pan- 
slavism and supremacy of the Russian or- 
thodox religion, became rampant, and the 
first victims to feel the terrible effects 
were the Jews. In May, 1882, by the in- 
spiration of the tyrant Ignatieff, the so- 
called May laws, fraught with so much 
misery, were promulgated. These laws 

1 80 Old European ycwrics. 

ordered (i) that as a temporary measure, 
until a general revision of the laws con- 
cerning the Jews can be made in a proper 
manner, the Jews be forbidden to settle 
outside the towns, the only exceptions be- 
ing in Jewish colonies that existed before, 
and whose inhabitants are agriculturists ; 
and (2) that the completion of instru- 
ments of purchase of real property and 
mortgages in the name of Jews, the regis- 
tration of Jews as lessees of landed estates 
situated outside the precincts of towns, 
and the issue of powers of attorney to 
enable Jews to manage and dispose of 
such property, be suspended temporarily."^ 
These laws were made to refer to the Pale 
of Settlement. The Russo-Jewish Com- 
mittee of London commenting on these 
laws says, '* The effect of the first clause of 
this enactment would clearly be to create 
a Pale within the Pale. Hitherto, ordi- 
nary Jews, if prevented from going be- 
yond the Pale, could move from town to 
village, and from village to village, within 
the Pale. This was to be stopped. In 
process of time, all the Jews of the Pale 

The Russian Ghetto, i8i 

would be cooped up in the towns and 
townlets found within it. There they 
might be left 'to stew in their own juice/ 
The second clause was not less wide- 
reaching in its scope, for it tended to the 
same end, by restricting still further the 
possibility of Jewish life in the country. 
If a Jew might not acquire land by pur- 
chase, mortgage or lease, or have any- 
thing to do with landed estate, his country 
life must come to an end, and even the 
favored exceptions, permitted to reside in 
the villacres as old inhabitants, would have 
no work to occupy them.'*"^ Upon th(i 
enforcement of these laws, the popula- 
tions of the overcrowded cities and towns 
were augmented by the thousands com- 
pelled to leave their homes in the country 
and the villages ; it amounted to virtual 
expulsion, for, unable to find a resting 
place, the unfortunates had to leave Rus- 
sia. The expulsions of 1882 are still 
fresh in the minds of all. The unprece- 
dented cruelty and inhumanity of these 
May laws called forth so indignant a pro- 
test in Western Europe and in America 

[ 82 Old Etiropean yewries. 

as to bring about the deposal of Ignatieff 
from favor, and with it the partial suspen- 
sion of his laws. But the persecuting 
spirit has been at work, and since 1888, 
when it broke forth more strongly than 
ever, the May laws have been rigorously 
enforced. A new power had arisen in 
the land. Pobiedonostseff, the primate 
of the Russian church, a man possessed 
of that *'true malignity of genius that 
makes a grand inquisitor," had obtained 
complete mastery over the Tzar's mind. 
The miseries of the Russian Jews have 
increased hundredfold. The crowding 
into the cities of the Pale goes on apace. 
Towns such as Tchernigov, of five thou- 
sand Jews, have had the number increased 
to twenty thousand. 

So Berditchev in the province of Kiev, 
in 1890, was supposed to contain about 
60,000 inhabitants, two-thirds Jews. An 
acute observer says of the effects of the 
edicts upon this town: **It was then an 
overcrowded place, made up for the most 
part of old and insanitary rookeries, in 
which was huddled one of the poorest 

The Russiaft Ghetto. 183 

populations to be found anywhere in Eu- 
rope. By August, 1891, it was said that 
fully twenty thousand additional Hebrews 
had been driven in from the surrounding 
country. The spectacle of their poverty 
and squalor was something too sickening 
for words. The whole place, with its 
filthy streets, its reeking half-cellars under 
the overhanging balconies, and its swarm- 
ingthrongs of unwashed,unkempt wretches, 
packed into the narrow thoroughfares on 
the lookout for food, made a picture 
ficarcely human. Mr. Pennell tells me 
that when he was there in November he 
was assured that, instead of the sixty thou- 
sand Jews of August, there were then in 
Berditchev no less than ninety thousand * 
* * There are over a hundred towns in 
that hell called the Pale where the same 
causes operate which have made Berdit- 
chev such an unspeakable charnel-house, 
and in each one the Russian police have 
done their brutal best to reproduce the 
conditions of Berditchev. "^^^ 

What are the poor creatures to do ? 
Harried and harassed, they are veritable 

184 Old European yewrics. 

pariahs and outcasts. The Jews in the 
cities and towns of the Pale are poor 
enough, and to have the number trebled 
and quadrupled means lack of sustenance 
for all. Even the privileged classes, those 
permitted to dwell without the Pale, are 
rapidly decreasing. How soon, by confis- 
cation and systematic robbery on the part 
of the officials, may not a merchant of the 
first guild sink into the second ? Then oflf 
into the Pale, no matter now long he may 
have dwelt in his home ! Artisans, too, 
had been granted permission to dwell any- 
where. But what constitutes an artisan ? 
The authorities decide. For instance, in 
one province it was decided that Jewish 
bakers, butchers, etc., are not artisans, and 
they have been driven out. The word is 
very elastic, particularly since the law limits 
it by the adjective ** skilled,"'^ and so the 
authorities (for in Russia ever)' official, no 
matter how low or how high his rank, 
considers himself an authority) interpret 
the term as they please, and the Jews are 
completely at the mercy of every official, 
from the ordinary policeman up to the 

The Russian Ghetto, 185 

governor of the province. Jews with 
university diplomas are among the privi- 
leged classes, permitted to reside any- 
where, but the government has taken care 
to limit those entitled to enjoy choice of 
residence, by passing laws providing that 
only a very small percentage of students 
may be Jews."^ Restrictions everywhere ! 
Prohibitions on all sides ! Gradually and 
surely the Jews are forced into the cities 
of the Pale. The Russian Ghetto ! oh, 
the misery, the horror of it all ! Stories 
innumerable of cruelty almost incredible 
have come to us — of soldiers who had 
served in the army for years coming back to 
their native place, being treated as stran- 
gers, and driven out ; "^ of artisans, resi- 
dents of villages all their lives, going for 
a week or a month to some other place 
for work, and on their return being treated 
as newcomers, their former residence ig- 
nored ; of Jewish girls, who, to remain 
with their parents, had themselves enrolled 
as prostitutes (this class of women being 
permitted to dwell anywhere in Russia), 
and because they would not ply the 

1 86 Old EiLvopean ycwrtes, 

nefarious trade, were driven out. And 
then the terrible results in the cities of the 
Pale ! The crowding of thousands of 
homeless, suffering, destitute Jews into 
the already swarming, dirty, ill-built, half- 
starving towns, deepened the prevailing 
misery. Sickness and disease ran riot. 
Phthisis, which had been practically un- 
known among Jews, led to the rejection 
of 6.5 per cent of Jewish recruits as 
against 0.5 per cent of other Russians. 
Other maladies hitherto unknown arose 
among them.'*^ Another source of misery 
was the re-enforcement of an old law 
permitted to fall into neglect. This 
law, first suggested in 1816,'^° had ordered 
that no Jew should dwell within fifty versts 
(thirty-three miles) of the frontier. It 
became a dead letter. Hundreds of thou- 
sands of Jews settled within this district. 
The old law has been revived, and is being 
enforced. So the people who have dwelt 
for years within the forbidden limits arc 
likewise forced back into the Pale. 

Things have been growing worse all the 
time; in 1891 they reached their climax; 

llie Russian Ghctlo, 1S7 

new edicts of expulsion of even the privi- 
leged classes, permitted to dwell in the 
cities, were promulgated — edicts upon 
edicts. For example, in Moscow, on July 
28th, appeared regulations in regard to the 
artisans, who were divided into three 
classes: (i) those living in Moscow only 
three years, unmarried or childless, and 
employing only one workman ; (2) those 
of six years residence, with four children and 
four workmen ; (3) those having ''a very 
long residence" and a 'Marge family,'* and 
more than four workmen. For these ex- 
pulsion was decreed, for the first class, 
within from three to six months ; for the 
second, within from six to nine months ; 
for the third, within from nine to twelve 
months. To this was attached a rider to 
the effect that {a) all clerks,personal attend- 
ants and those of small occupations must 
go within six months ; {U) all engaged in 
trade, especially in large factories owned 
by Russians, must go within one year.'^* 
This in Moscow ; St. Petersburg, " holy " 
Kiev,even Odessa,although within the Pale, 
have like stories to tell. The Jews must go. 

1 88 Old Etiropcan Jewries, 

By law or by arbitrary decree, Russia out- 
side the Pale must be cleansed of them, and 
it is being gradually done. Imagination 
cannot picture the unfeeling cruelty of it all. 
Hundreds of thousands of innocent, unof- 
fending citizens deprived of their homes 
and possessions, and forced into new, 
strange dwelling places, unable to support 
their own teeming populations ! It means 
nothing short of expulsion or death. The 
number of Jews dwelling within the Rus- 
sian Ghetto, or Pale, in 1884, ^v*^^ ^^^'" 
mated at 2,920,639. A rough calculation 
has been made of the Jews who by the 
new edicts and restrictions have been and 
will be expelled from their homes and 
forced into the cities of the Pale i*^^ 

Kzpulsioii from villages inside the Pule 

is estimated to aflfcct 5uo,oa) 

Expulsion of artisans outside the Pale, 200,000 

Expulsion from commercial towns out- 
side the Pale, 500,000 

Expulsion from the ilfly-verst zone, . . 250,000 


Add these to the swarming populations 
residing in the cities of the Pale, and it 
will be readily understood that never has 

The Russian Ghetto, 1 89 

there been, even in the darkest days, a 
Ghetto with accompanying circumstances 
more dreadful than this, existing in sight of 
the enhghtened world of the year eighteen 
hundred and ninety-four of Christian civili- 
zation. The Middle Ages, with all their 
fanaticism and intolerance, have nothing 
to show surpassing it in systematic 
cruelty. Mq.dieeval church laws at least 
pretend to give a reason for separating 
the dwelling places of Jews from those of 
Christians; it was feared that the latter 
would be contaminated by contact with 
the former. In the autocracy of Eastern 
Europe there is not even the pretense of 
a reason or excuse. The laws are made ; 
it is the tyrant's will — that is the end of 
the matter. Possibly the same idea holds, 
that holy Russia maybe contaminated by 
the presence of Jews. Considering the 
Jews a pest, the Russian rulers enclose 
them in the Ghetto as in a lazaretto. 

*' These laws regulating the dwelling- 
place of the Jews present the most shock- 
ing anomalies. They jnit thc^ Jews below 
the criminals to whom certain cities, nota- 

I go Old European Jcivrics, 

bly the capitals, are forbidden only for a 
specified period after the expiration of their 
sentence. * * * * According to the 
letter of the law, the greatest sculptor of 
Russia, Antokolsky, correspondent of our 
Institute, has not the right to live in St. 

Do the Jews enjoy the same rights as 
the other subjects of the Tzar, at least in 
the mentioned district (the Pale), in which 
they are confined ? By no means. They 
arc deprived of several all-important 
rights. They are forbidden to acquire 
land in the provinces in which they are 
forced to live. They are forbidden even 
to lease land outside of the cities. They 
cannot be farmers. "'^^ 

It is the same old story over again : 
Jews forced into the cities, forbidden to 
own land, and then reproached for not 
being farmers. For eighteen hundred 
years the present Russian policy was the 
policy of all European states ; the Jews 
could not be farmers had they wanted to. 
The Jews of Russia are to-day in the' 
same situation as the Jews of Europe gen- 

The Russian Ghetto. igi 

orally before the close of the last century. 
They know not where to lay their head. 
Certainly, the prospect of emigration is 
theirs, but the emigration is forced ; they 
are literally driven out, for to go into the 
Ghetto set apart for them is well-nigh 
synonymous with stepping into a death 
trap ; disease, hunger, starvation await 
them there. Rich men beggared in a 
month, honorable men chased from their 
homes Hke criminals, ambitious students 
driven from the universities to go they 
know not whither, unless to the Ghetto or 
to strange lands — these are the sad experi- 
ences that hundreds and thousands of Rus- 
sian Jews have lived through in the past 
ten years. And within that Pale of Settle- 
ment, what a terrifying future presents it- 
self ! Five, eight, ten persons struggling 
for a livelihood where one can scarcely 
find sufficient sustenance. Degeneracy, 
physical, mental, moral. Millions sub- 
jected to the very worst conditions of life. 
Bad enough before the enforcement of the 
May laws, infinitely worse now; the over- 
crowded towns are breeders of disease 

192 Old Ettropean yeivries. 

and contagion. The evils and hor- 
rors of the Ghetto have re-appeared in 
their worst form. The future is all 
dark, not one streak of light to relieve 
the gloom — no hope of improvement ! 
The miserable, embittered existence of 
these poor creatures has no prospect of 
betterment. Death alone will make them 
free. It is like an oppressive nightmare. 
But retribution will come. Into Darkest 
Russia, too. the light must penetrate. 
** He sleeps not, neither docs He slumber, 
the guardian of Israel." The Russian 
Ghetto will be swept from the face of the 
earth, as in their time all Ghettos have dis- 
appeared. The wide expanse of the 
Russian empire, too, will be opened to the 
Jew, and the frightful conditions of to-day 
will pass away. Right is might, and with 
such a champion, the poor, harried, perse- 
cuted Russian Jew will conquer, though 
all the powers of darkness be arrayed in 
the lists against him to-day. The abo- 
lition of the Ghetto, the Pale of Settle- 
ment, the full right of the Jew to live and 
settle in Russia where it pleases him, is 

The Russian Ghetto. 193 

the only solution of the Russo-Jewish 
problem. '^ 




The enforced seclusion of a people dur- 
ing centuries, as told in the foregoing 
chapters, cannot but produce characteristic 
results. That Jews in many places and in- 
stances, still show the effects of the 
Ghetto period, cannot be doubted. It is 
not yet half a century since they have 
gained full political and social emancipa- 
tion in Western Europe. The habits 
formed during centuries cannot be ex- 
pected to wear off in a few decades. The 
unpleasant traits of the Jews are due to 
the persecutions; their virtues arc the re- 
sultant of the strong hold of their religion 
upon them. 

Who will wonder at the evil effects 
which exclusion had on the development 
of the Jew, physically and mentally ? Pen 
up a mass of people for centuries in nar- 
row, unhealthy streets and noisome quar- 


Effects and Results. 1 95 

ters, and what results may be expected ? 
Owing to the unhealthiness of the Jew's 

environment, he could not develop physi- 
cally, and thus became stunted in body. \ 
Owing to his enforced occupations, small 
peddling and money transactions, he grad- 
ually in his relations to theouter world, be- \ 
came a fearful, terrified, stricken creature, i 
and these things naturally reacted on the 
mind. Shut off from all contact with the 
world at large, the Jew within the walls of 
the Ghetto naturally did not respond to 
the culture of the world. Learning, cer- 
tainly, there always was, and learning was 
held in the highest respect ; but it was 
the learning of the ancients, the Talmud 
and rabbinical dialectics. These studies 
sharpened the mind, it is true, and later, 
when emancipation came, the Jewish in- 
tellect, exercised for centuries in this 
dialectical training school, readily mas- 
tered the difficulties of the various 
branches of learning in the universities. 
But in the Ghetto, notably in Germany 
and the countries of Eastern Europe, 
this terrible, systematic exclusion of the 

196 Old European Jeivries. 

Tews from all contact with the outer world 
\ contracted the mind, and prevented all culti- 
vation of learning outside of Jewish studies. 
The wonder is that in spite of the moun- 
tain-load of disadvantages, disabilities, and 
wrongs, the Jew preserved himself as well 
as he did. For evil as were the effects, 
physical and mental, little as the Jews pro- 
duced of works of general literature, phil- 
osophy, and science between the fifteenth 
and the eighteenth centuries, yet the 
moral side of Jewish life, as reflected in 
the beauty of the home, in the charity, 
purity, and chastity of the community and 
of the individual, even the systematic cag- 
ing in the Ghetto by church and state did 
not affect for the worse. This moral purity 
was not sullied, and in spite of all the disad- 
vantages of situation, the virtues that 
crown the life of man with man here found 
constant cultivation and application. The 
Ghetto possibly brought these things out 
in stronger relief. Family ties were 
strengthened, domestic purity shone the 
brighter, because only in the home and 
in the family thelje^ was a free man. The 

Effects and Results, 1 9 7 

hand of power that rested with such crush- 
ing weight upon him without could not 
penetrate within. Here he was king. 
The glory of his ancestors, the pride 
of race, possessed him. God was with 
him, of that he was sure ; his troubles 
would come to an end at some time. This 
light not all the waves of oppression could 
extinguish. In the Ghetto, too, it shone. 
Herein lay the salvation of the Jew. His 
inner life appeared all the more brilliant 
when contrasted with the darkness of his 
external position. The Jew saved himself 
by force of those virtues which will redeem 
man from any condition, even though it 
be as untoward and foreboding as the 
prison-like confinement of the Jews for 
centuries within the walls and gates of the 

The Ghetto gave rise to social habits 
and customs peculiar to its inhabitants. 
Shut off, as they were, from communication 
with the remainder of the community, 
thrown entirely upon their own resources, 
and associating only with each other, they 
developed among themselves that peculiar 

1 98 Old European Jewries. 

Ghetto life, which, in our day, has received 
such masterly portrayal at the hands of 
Kompert, Bernstein, Franzos, Kohn, and 
others, to whom I shall have occasion to 
refer again. Perhaps the most striking 
product of the Ghetto was the language 
there spoken. In early days, the language 
which Jews spoke differed in nowise 
from that of their neighbors, but in time 
there was formed the peculiar speech 
of the Ghetto, the Jiidisch-deutsch, a jar- 
gon. This language was a mixture of 
Hebrew and German terms in various 
peculiar combinations, with a liberal sprink- 
ling of words of other European languages, 
as e. g., blett, a ticket entitling the holder 
to a meal, the French billet; benshen, to 
bless, the Latin benedire ; frimselich, a kind 
of pastry, the Italian vermicelli ; all show- 
ing traces of the days when the Jews spoke 
these languages. A treatise on this 
strange linguistic development remains 
to be written,'^ although some good work 
has been done by several scholars, the 
beginning having been made by All- 
meister Zunz, who in his epoch-making 

Effects and Results. 1 99 

work, Die gottesdienstlichen Vortrdge der 
Judeity devotes several pages'^ to a discus- 
sion of the ''jargon," and gives the rules 
that seem to have been employed in the 
formation of terms, as well as a list of 
words and phrases. The ** jargon" is a 
product of the past ; with the fall of the 
walls of the Ghetto, it disappeared, like so 
many of the alleged peculiarities to which 
the oppression of centuries gave rise among 

But certain effects of Ghetto existence 
upon the Jew are apparent even to-day. A 
recent writer has well said: ** People who 
have been living in a Ghetto for a couple 
of centuries are not able to step outside 
merely because the gates are thrown down, 
nor to efface the brands on their souls by 
putting off the yellow badges. The isola- 
tion from without will have come to seem 
the law of their being. "'^^ Even in this free 
country of ours, where a Ghetto has never 
been established by religious canon or civil 
law, the effects of Ghetto life in Europe 
crop out very perceptibly. In our larger 
cities, Jewish quarters arc being formed, 

200 Old European yeivries. 

which, though not defined by law, nor en- 
closed by walls, nor barred by gates, to all 
\ intents and purposes are no less Ghettos 
/ than those of mediaeval days. The poorer 
Jews who come to this country naturally 
flock together, and inhabit whole districts 
which come to assume the appearance of 
Ghettos. So it is also in London, Amster- 
dam, Paris, Vienna, and other large cities of 
Europe. The Ghetto in law has ceased to 
be ; the Ghetto in fact still exists. Now, 
this esprit dc corps, this exclusivcness, this 
seeking of brethren, is a direct result of 
the treatment to which Jews have been 
subjected during the Christian centuries* 
And not alone the masses of poor, wretched 
creatures that live in the lowly quar- 
ters of the great cities of the world, but 
even those Jews who have reaped all the 
benefits of emancipation, and move in the 
higher circles of life and thought, are often 
met with the reproach that they are clan- 
nish and exclusive, that they shut them- 
selves up within their own social precincts, 
and are attracted to one another by a 
magnetism of fellowship. Very true, and 

Effects and Results, 201 

very natural ; so long were the Jews ex- 
cluded by legal measure and enactment 
and religious prejudice and teaching from 
all intimate contact with non-Jews, so long 
were they thrown upon one another, that as 
a logical result, they became exclusive. 
People maltreated and oppressed for the 
same reason cling to one another. Suffer- 
ing in a like cause attaches them very close 
to each other, for there is no bond that 
unites so firmly as suffering. The Jew 
was excluded, therefore he became exclu- 
sive ; he was avoided, therefore he be- 
came clannish ; the hand of the world was 
against him, therefore he sought protection 
amongst his own. Even though offi- 
cial exclusion be a thing of the past, the 
prejudices of men and churches cannot be 
abolished by law and decree, and largely 
these still exist against the Jew. He haj> 
met his fellow-man more than half way. 
The most liberal expressions emanate 
from the Jewish pulpit and the pens of 
Jewish authors,'^ but rarely are they recip- 
rocated. The great consensus of opinion 
in the Christian world still considers the 

202 Old European yewrics. 

Jew as lost, and, as though he were 
heathen, fit subject for missionary effort. 
As long as this is the state of the case, ex- 
pressed or implied, the Jews are forced in 
upon themselves. As long as this arro- 
gant assumption of superiority marks the 
attitude of Christianity, so long can there 
be no meeting on common ground. 
Equality pre-supposes mutual respect, and 
the attitude of the churches that consider 
the Jew damned for all eternity, unless he 
be baptized in the name of the Christian 
Saviour, although not expressed in 
words, is the same as that of the mediaeval 
church, which ever spoke and wrote of Ju- 
daism as superstition and perfidy. Ad- 
vances cannot all come from one side. If 
the ill effects of bygone centuries are ever 
to be entirely overcome, the Christian 
world must concede full and equal liberty 
to Jews to think and believe as they will, 
leaving the final judgment unto Him who 
looks into the hearts of men. 

Another time-honored accusation con- 
tinually flung at Jews is, that they are 
merely consumers, and not producers ; that 

Effects and Results, 203 

they are to be found in commercial pur- 
suits only, and not in the handicrafts ; that 
they flock to the cities and monopolize 
trade, and are rarely, if ever, found tilling 
the soil. Superficial observation seems 
to confirm these statements, but it must 
be emphatically stated that the Jews them- 
selves are not to blame ; that this is one 
of the effects of Ghetto life, Ghetto 
legislation, and Christian treatment of 
Jews. More than a century ago, Moses 
Mendelssohn, in response to the same 
reproach, pithily said : ** Our hands are 
bound, and we are blamed for not using 
them." If the Jews were not conspicuous 
in trades and industrial branches at the 
time when these were honorable pursuits, 
it was not their fault, but that of the gov- 
ernments under which they lived. The 
limits of the guilds were so narrow and 
circumscribed, they were governed by 
such exclusive laws, that no Jew, before 
the time of general emancipation, could 
break through the barriers. When the 
note of freedom and emancipation 
sounded, and the governments began to 

204 Old European Jeivries. 

grant the Jews rights as citizens, and 
passed decrees favorable to their entering 
the trades, then the Jews themselves put 
forth efforts in this direction. 

In biblical times the Jews were an agri- 
cultural, not a commercial people. The 
many notices, too, in the Talmud and other 
Jewish writings on the honorable character 
of trades, and the necessity of engaging 
in them, at once dispel the notion that the 
Jews were opposed to these pursuits. We 
need only refer to learned men specially 
mentioned as having gained their, liveli- 
hood by the trades of the collier, shoe- 
maker, carpenter, smith. But when the 
Jews were scattered over Europe's wide do- 
main, all changed from what it had been in 
Palestine and Babylonia. They lived now 
under Christian governments, which, in 
conjunction with the priesthood, did all 
in their power, if not to exterminate, for 
that was impossible, at least, to hamper 
and degrade the Jews. They were com- 
pelled to resort to those means by which 
they could gain some hold of power. This 
their money gave them. Hence their pre- 

Effects and Results. 205 

eminence in commerce and in money trans- 
actions. They cultivated these activities. 
Gold and silver satisfied the rapacity of 
their oppressors, and gained them respite 
from suffering. All the energies of the 
acute Jewish mind being turned to com- 
merce, they brought it to a high state of 
perfection, invented bills of exchange, 
became the bankers and the merchants 
of mediaeval Europe. There was ample 
reason, then, for their not engaging in the 
trades. Self-preservation forced them 
into commercial life. It must also be 
remembered that there was a period 
when the trades and handicrafts were 
in the hands of the lowest classes, being 
pursued by either slaves, or women, or by 
the free classes ineligible to a military 
career. It is, therefore, not surprising 
that Jews, severely oppressed because 
of their religion, did not wish to debase 
themselves further by engaging in occu- 
pations in themselves considered degrad- 

When the trades rose in general esti- 
mation, we find Jews mentioned here and 

2o6 Old European yetvrics, 

there as farmers, as growers of the vine, 
as mechanics. But gradually these trades 
and industries enclosed themselves within 
narrow confines, and against attempts 
of governments to open the trades 
to Jey/s, it was urged that if they 
were admitted, their competition would 
soon work to the detriment of Chris- 
tian workmen. Always the same clamor : 
the Jews place others at a disadvantage, 
therefore, they must be kept down and 
out, and, if this be possil)le l)y no other 
means, force must be employed. Per- 
haps this has never been better stated than 
by Gabriel Riesser, the redoubtable cham- 
pion of Jewish emancipation : ** Commerce 
requires many and distant — trades, few and 
close, connections. As long as the hatred 
of the Christian prevented a close rela- 
tion to Jews, they could be associated in 
commerce, but not in the trades. This 
circumstance sufficiently explains, without 
Sabbath or Talmud, why Jews, until the 
last century, could engage so little in 

Effects and Results . 207 

It was the oft repeated cry : contact with 
the accursed Jews may lead to terrible con- 
sequences. Out with them ! out with 
them ! cried the workman. The greater 
the number of competitors, the more diffi- 
cult for each to gain his livelihood. 
Lower, lower press them down, away from 
all association with their fellows of other 
faiths ! Every honorable occupation was 
closed to them. The power of the trade 
guildswas great, they resented all attempts i 
of governments to interfere in their affairs. \ 
Whithersoever the Jew turned, he was 
conscious of lofty though invisible walls. 
Each century but added to the burden 
of the preceding century. The load 
was becoming heavier and heavier. Oft 
in anguish of soul the Jews cried aloud, 
for it seemed impossible to bear with such 
indignities any longer. Money transac- 
tions, or worse, peddling and hawking, 
were the only avenues open for earning 
a livelihood. The Schacherjude was a . 
creature evolved by circumstances and 
the systematic course resorted to by his 
enemies to degrade the Jew. The 


20<S Old Enropean Jcwi^ics. 

only countries wherein Jews could and 
did engage in the trades were those 
in which they dwelt in sufficiently large 
numbers (as the different provinces of 
Poland), so that there was no need of 
others to assist them and associate with 

But the time of reckoning was com- 
ing. The recording angel had almost 
done with the tale of governmental exclu- 
sion and persecution of Jews. The 
measure was full. The time was ripe. 
Mankind was awakening from the stupor 
of ages. Humanity was to assert its 
rights. The eighteenth century stands as 
the dividing line between the old and the 
new. Aye, the eighteenth century 1 Bles- 
sed time, when humanity spoke, and advo- 
cated the claims of all the children of men; 
Mdien the false and rank growths of 
mediaevalism fell before the purifying 
influence of awakened reason, even like 
. a crumbling ruin swept by the storm. 
The American Revolution ''fired the shot 
heard round the world," and the old, 
corrupt society of Europe was shaken 

Effects and Results, 209 

to its depths by the reverberation. 
France, all combustible, needed but the 
spark ; It fell, and the French Revolution, 
an explosion of the magazines wherein 
had accumulated the rubbish of centuries, 
moved Europe from end to end. The 
new time was inaugurated. Mankind was 
freed. Humanity ruled. Governments 
listened. The abuses of ages were laid bare. 
Unto the Jew, also, the most wronged 
of Europe's inhabitants, the new era 
brought its glad tidings. Kings and rulers 
turned their attention to the improvc- 
jncnt of the lot of their Jewish subjects. 
The avenues which had been closed to them 
were gradually opened. Within sixty years 
after the beginning of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, the Jew was a free man in Western 
Europe. France, leader in humane 
acts and liberal thoughts, was followed 
by German princes, by Italy, by Eng- 
land. The walls of the Ghetto had 
fallen ; the world was open to the Jew, 
and among the earliest privileges was 
the right to engage in trades and in- 
dustries. It is remarkable with what 

2IO Old Etiropeafi yewries. 

eagerness this permission was seized. U n- 
doubtedly their leaders felt that it was nec- 
essary to remove the byword of peddler, 
money-lender, from the Jews, and to make 
them more readily affiliate with their Chris- 
tian neighbors. Societies were started in 
the early decades of this centviry for the 
purpose of furthering trades among the 
Jews in Prussia, Frankfort, Bavaria, Baden, 
Saxony, Pomerania, Hessen, Hamburg, 
the Saxon duchies. Jewish boys were 
apprenticed. I ndustrial schools were insti- 
tuted. Ere long there were Jewish 
master mechanics all through Germany. 
They followed trades of every kind and 
description. They became shoemakers, 
tailors, saddlers, bookbinders, locksmiths, 
bakers, weavers, printers, cutlers, watch- 
makers, furriers, lithographers, and the 
like. Land, too, was beginning to be 
bought, and here and there Jewish farmers 
were heard of. Factories were started by 
Jews, who employed workmen of all 
classes, both of their own faith and others. 
They assisted the governments wherever 
the slightest hope was given that their dis- 

Effects and Results, 2 1 1 

abilities would be removed. The Jews 
themselves entered upon the work with a 
will, and it is most encouraging to re- 
flect upon their early efforts to improve the 
new opportunities granted by the govern- 
ments. The inner development was such 
that within seventy years after Mendels- 
sohn's death, his co-religionists enjoyed all 
the rights of men and citizens in the land 
where he, one of the most distinguished 
of philosophers and scholars, was regarded 
as an alien. 

In 1848 most of the disabilities resting 
upon Jews were removed in the countries of 
western Europe. How has it been since, 
there and in America? We still hear of 
the enormous wealth of the Jews. We 
are told that if one walks down Broadway 
in New York, the great majority of the 
firms are Jewish. The Jewish commercial 
spirit still forms the refrain of many a 
prejudice. Whenever anti-Semitism has 
raised its head in late years, this has been 
one of its cries. The Jew lives off of the 
poor Christian workman. The Christian 
must toil ; the Jew enjoys. The Chris- 

2 1 2 Old Europe an Jeivrics. 

tian is poor; the Jew is rich. The Jew 
works not with his hands at honest toil ; 
he cannot be found in the factories, he 
cannot be found in the fields, farming and 
gardening; only in the street, buying and 
selling. Such invidious distinctions are 
still drawn, although careful observation 
must prove that there is no truth in them. 
The ideas of mediaevalism have not been 
banished from the popular mind. The 
Jew is still looked upon as standing apart. 
The conception has not yet gained ground 
that the only distinction is one of religion. 
This truth the Jews must emphasize in 
word and in work. And in no better way 
can it be emphasized and fully proved than 
by his standing at the same forge, or sit- 
ting on the same bench with others. 
Trades and industries will bring close con- 

It is now felt that one solution of the 
problem thrust upon the Jews of Western 
Europe and America by the immigration 
of hordes of Russian exiles is to form 
them into agricultural communities. This 
will require time, money and patience. 

Effects and Results. 1 1 ^ 


The Russian Jews are issuing from a 
condition like unto that in which the 
Jews generally found themselves through- 
out Europe in the Ghetto period. They, 
too, must become accustomed to their 
new life. What they are is owing not 
to themselves, but to their government. 
The taste for new occupations must be 
fostered ; many a drawback and obstacle 
will be encountered, but perseverance 
and time will gain the victory. The Jews 
must be their own redeemers, and they 
alone can and will overcome the effect of 
the exclusiveness of the Ghetto period, 
which, by closing every other occupa- 
tion to them, forced them into the lines of 
money-changing, peddling, and hawking. 
The injustice of popular condemnation 
has never stood forth so clearly as in this 
instance of reproaching the Jews for that 
wherein they fail, their failure being due 
not to their own shortcomings, but to 
the treatment, or rather maltreatment, 
which they have received. 

The remarkable progress made by in- 
dividual Jews in the universities of Europe 

2 1 4 Old Etivopean yewrics. 

and in the learned professions, as soon as 
these were thrown open to them, has often 
been the subject of remark and surprise, 
and speeches and writings of anti-Semites 
are full of warnings to the effect that Jews, 
enjoying even now more than their due 
proportion of professorial chairs, and 
journalistic and professional honors, will 
eventually monopolize them. It is true 
that many Jews have had remarkable 
careers in the learned world. The moment 
the opportunity was granted them, they 
grasped it with avidity, and ere long they 
became brilliant students. This, too, 
strange as it may appear, was a result of 
the Ghetto existence. For centuries the 
Jewish mind had been confined to the study 
of the Jewish writings, and been sharp- 
ened in the fencing school of rabbinical 
dialectics. The schools outside of the 
Ghetto were closed to them. The classics 
and the sciences were unknown worlds. 
As soon as the open sesame of emancipation 
sounded, and the doors of the schools 
swung back to admit the Jew, he entered 
a new domain. His mind was as a field 

Effects and Results, 2 1 5 

long fallow ; it had been gathering strength 
for centuries. The learned words of pro- 
fessors and of books fell upon this new 
soil, and took deep root. This, together 
with the keenness and acumen resulting 
from the discussions in the Talmudical 
schools, readily explains why he forged 
ahead so rapidly. 

His striking success may be traced to 
another cause. If history has an example 
of the ** survival of the fittest " to present, 
it is this of the Jews. To have survived in 
spite of all the dangers and persecutions 
which they encountered, is evidence suffi- 
cient that there were present among these 
people the moral and mental (jualities 
that can successfully withstand physical 
ill and harm. The fittest of the sur- 
vivors, hence the choicest from out a 
choice band, selected university and 
professional careers. They were the pro- 
ducts of the endurance of centuries. All 
these things combined .offer full explana- 
tion of a seeming anomaly. 

Hard as this life in the Ghetto was, un- 
bearable as it became at times, sad as 

2 r 6 Old European yeiorics, 

was this continued exclusion, yet these 
very evils were productive of virtues 
among the devoted people. To survive 
despite all these disadvantages, the Jews 
had to be better than their surroundings, 
had to live on a higher moral plane. 
The Ten Commandments were ever re- 
spected and observed by them. The crime 
of murder was practically unknown even 
among their poorest and most ignorant 
classes, rampant as it may have been 
among others in the same circumstances. 
Chastity among their women was univer- 
sal ; the home life was a model ; never 
was heard issuing from a Jewish home the 
wail of the wife beaten by a drunken hus- 
band. A cheerful, trustful piety that il- 
luminated the most squalid existence, and 
made its inhabitants content with their 
lot, was characteristic of the Ghetto. It 
was not for them to murmur against the 
decrees of God. He knew best, their re- 
lease would come, if not in this world, 
then in the next. And these same quali- 
ties mark the inhabitants of the lowly, 
poverty-stricken quarters in our great cities, 

Effects and Results. 2 1 7 

so like the old Ghetto in all particulars 
save that residence in them is voluntary, 
not compulsory. 

Upon modern Ghettos, the Jewish quar- 
ters in the large cities of the world, I have 
hardly touched, since they do not lie 
within the scope of these investigations, 
but I must briefly refer to them since they 
are another direct result of the officially 
instituted Ghetto of the Middle Ages. 
The poverty-stricken huddle together in 
these districts, because here they find 
companionship and sympathy, and their 
social instinct is satisfied. But at least, 
they are not forced to stay there, and as 
soon as they desire they can remove thence. 
If such a thing as a Jewish question in any 
but the religious signification of the term 
can be spoken of in this country, it is in 
reference to these Jewish quarters in New 
York and other large cities, and their in- 
habitants. How to break these up and 
disperse their denizens over the surface of 
this broad, fair land, and make them self- 
supporting, self-respecting citizens, is the 
great problem now pressing for solution. 

2i8 Old European Jewries, 

There arc not more than several hundred 
thousand all told, crowded together in three 
or four localities. This seems to be a 
large number, but scattered among the 
population of this vast land it is but 
as a drop in the ocean. These voluntary 
Ghettos are a constant menace, for they 
arouse the worst passions of non-Jewish 
demagogues, and the Jews are referred to 
as a class, and discriminated against as a 
separate body. The Jewish immigrant 
coming from the Russian (ihetto naturally 
drifts into this new Ghetto, and continues 
in the old life, for he finds much the same 
conditions. These last visible vestiges of 
Ghetto existence must be wiped out. 
They are fraught with menace. Char- 
itable and philanthropic effort must be 
directed to this work. Millions are spent 
yearly to relieve the poor of these districts, 
but there will be no permanent relief until 
these Ghettos shall be no more, until these 
wretched immigrants will be taken in hand 
upon their arrival, prevented from invading 
the already overcrowded districts, and 
sent to smaller communities, there to as- 

Effects and Results, 219 

similate themselves with their American 
surroundings; those already dwelling in 
these sections and applying for relief must 
be taken charge of by our charitable agen- 
cies, and removed into more wholesome 
quarters. This is a duty that devolves upon 
all who seek to improve the economic and 
social condition of the masses. Systematic, 
intelligent, united, effort alone will be 
able to grapple with this hydra-headed 
evil. There is no duty more imperative 
than the relief of the congestion of the 
slums, both in the interest of their inhab- 
itants and of our American institutions. 
The work can be begun none too soon. 
The axe of improvement can be applied 
to the cutting down of the tenements none 
too vigorously. Every day of delay but 
aggravates the evil. Away with these 
Ghettos, too. The law cannot order their 
removal as it did with the officially insti- 
tuted Ghetto. Voluntary effort alone 
will accomplish it. In the words of the 
old prayer, **may wesce it done quickly 
in our days." 


Although the actual, enforced Ghetto, 
with the one exception of '*the Pale of 
Settlement" in Russia, has disappeared 
from the face of Europe, yet the Ghetto 
life of Jews has found a permanent 
place in literature, inasmuch as during this 
century numerous writers have arisen who 
have drawn their material for most inter- 
esting tales and character sketches from 
the Ghetto. The life there was unique. 
Certain types of character were formed, 
and the development of personality pro- 
ceeded along pecuHar lines, so that this 
Jewish life became the legitimate object 
of treatment by poets and novelists. And 
Jewish life and Jewish characteristics, as 
developed in the Ghetto, are the only 
rightful objects of treatment in* fiction 
portraying the Jew All other represen- 
tations of the Jew as differing from other 

( 270 ) 

The Ghetto in Literature, 22 i 

men in aught but his religion are misrep- 
resentations, and false to the real thought 
and present status of the Jew, who, in 
everything but his religion, is like unto 
those anionic whom he dwells. '^^ 

The Ghetto novel is unique. It trans- 
ports us into a life so different from our 
own that it scarce seems possible that a 
comparatively short period has intervened 
between our day and the time wherein the 
scenes which it portrays were enacted. 
It depicts real life within the Ghetto, and 
shows that existence there in peaceful times 
was much the same as anywhere else. 
There are tales of love and marriage ; of 
success and failure ; of heroism and self- 
sacrifice. There are descriptions of phases 
of life and character peculiar to the Ghetto, 
written, for the most part, by men whose 
youthful years were passed there, and who 
knew from experience the scenes which 
they depicted. These stories are the swan 
song of the Ghetto. They cast the gla- 
mour of poetry over it, and are the one 
fair product left to mankind from the dark 
record of centuries. 


Old Europea7i Jeivrics. 

The first to attempt a Ghetto novel was 
the great poet HeinrichHeine in his frag- 
ment, Der Rabbi von Bacharach, perhaps 
the finest of his prose writings. He de- 
scribes the terrible experience of a rabbi 
of Bacharach and his wife in the fifteenth 
century, who, during the celebration of 
the Seder, the family festival on the eve 
of the Passover feast, noticed the corpse 
of a child that had been placed beneath 
their table. Knowing that the enemies of 
the Jews had done this to trump up the 
old accusation that the Jews use Christian 
blood on the Passover, they fled in terror 
of what would take place. Of this oft 
repeated lie, Heine says : ** Another accu- 
sation which cost the Jews much blood 
and fear throughout the Middle Ages up 
to the beginning of the last century was 
the silly story reiterated with disgusting 
frequency in legends and chronicles, that 
the Jews stole consecrated wafers, which 
they pierced with knives till the blood 
flowed, and that they killed Christian 
children on their Passover in order to use 
the blood at their evening service. The 

The Ghetto in Literature. 223 

Jews, thoroughly hated because of their 
faith, their wealth, and their account 
books, on that holiday were completely in 
the hands of their enemies, who could ac- 
complish their ruin but too easily, if they 
spread the report of a child-murder, or 
succeeded in smuggling a child's bloody 
corpse into the house of a Jew, and fell 
upon the Jewish family at night during the 
service. Then there was murder, plunder, 
and baptism, and great miracles occurred 
through the agency of the dead child, 
which the church finally even canonized." 
Heine describes the Frankfort Ghetto, 
to which the rabbi fled from the wrath 
to come. IMie oft-quoted description 
of Jewish female beauty that he gives 
in speaking of Sarah, the rabbi's wife, is 
worth repeating : ** Her face was touch- 
ingly beautiful, even as, in general, the 
beauty of Jewesses is strangely touching. 
The consciousness of the deep misery, the 
bitter disgrace, and the evil experiences 
under which their relatives and friends 
live spreads over their lovely features a 
certain expression of suffering and watch- 

2 24 Old European Jewries, 

ful anxiety, which exercises a peculiar 
charm upon us." 

Turning from Heine's fragment, we find 
that a number of authors have presented 
these genre pictures of Ghetto life to the 
reading world. Auerbach's novels, Spinoza 
and Dichter und KaufmanUy although con- 
cerned with Jewish subjects, can scarcely 
be included in this branch of literature. 
The versatile Aaron Bernstein, a scientist, 
editor, anil brilliant scholar generally, wrote 
two novels, Mendel Gibbor, i, e. ''Men- 
del the Strong," and Vogele der Maggid, 
i, e, ''Vogele the Preacher," both of which 
portray in bright flashes and genial style 
that peculiar life whereof we speak. In 
reprinting Vogele der Maggid in his maga- 
zine, Der Sinai, in 1861, the great Jewish 
preacher and writer, Dr. David Einhorn, 
prefaced the publication with the following 
note : " The readers of the Sinai will cer- 
tainly thank us for republishing this ex- 
cellent novel of the brilliant Bernstein. 
It is permeated with the real Jewish spirit, 
and portrays in masterly touches phases 
of life and thought that have well nigh 

The Ghetto in Litcrattu^c, 225 

disappeared, and sound almost legendary 
to the younger generation. It is arousing 
the greatest attention in Jewish circles in 
Germany. Only a genial man like Bern- 
stein, prominent as theologian as well as 
scientist (his work on natural history is 
now being reprinted in America), could 
write such a novel. "'^^^ 

I will quote a few passages from these 
tales of Bernstein. In speaking of the 
persecutions, he says: **The history of 
the legislation of all states concerning 
Jews, whether dictated by religious hatred 
or perverted benevolence, contained the 
source of eternal pain ; this lent an 
ever renewed significance to the oldest 
prophetical lamentations." The implicit 
trust in God that characterized Jews 
even in the darkest days is well ex- 
pressed thus : '* Dost thou not know that 
with Him there is help? Is it not writ- 
ten, hope in God and trust in Him, for He 
will bring it to pass ? Yes, even though 
thou canst not speak with man, speak 
to Him, and thou wilt see. His help will 

come." The love of the Jewish husband 

226 Old Etiropca7i Jeivries, 

for his wife, the foundation whereon rests 
the home life of Jews, ever so highly 
appreciated and praised, is well expressed 
in a sympathetic reminiscence of the quiet 
Salme, in Mendel Gihbor. ** Four years 
God, blessed be He, permitted us to be 
together. His holy will did not bless us 
with children, but her heart grew more 
pious and joyful from day to day, and when 
she implored God for His mercy and com- 
passion, it was only her eyes that expressed 
prayer to Him on high, but her lips smiled 
upon her happy husband. Light rested on 
her face and in her soul, until her time 
came, and she was called away by God. 
* * * God, blessed be He, is my wit- 
ness, I did not murmur, for I lived with 
my pious Yiitte four years, two months, 
and six days, and that was more than a 
whole life and a long life." In this novel 
he tells the story of the Polish Jew, Saul 
Wahl, who is said to have been king of 
Poland for one day during an interreg- 

The man entitled above all others to 
the designation, '* Poet of the Ghetto," 


The Ghetto in Literature. 227 

is Leopold Kompert. Born in the Ghetto 
of Miinchengratz, Bohemia, in 1822, ac- 
quainted with the true life of the Ghetto 
from his very infancy, he knew from ex- 
perience all its phases and all the peculiar 
characters developed by it. His was a 
poetic soul, and he threw the glow of 
ideality over Ghetto scenes, yet presented 
them garbed in the elements of truth. In 
a series of tales he has preserved for 
later generations the peculiarities of that 
life. So charmingly did he write, so new 
and striking was the matter of his produc- 
tions, that his tales created a great sensa- 
tion in the literary world, arousing as much 
attention, it is said, as Auerbach's equally 
unique Schwarzwdlder Dorfgeschichten, 
These Ghetto novels of Kompert have 
become part and parcel of the world's 
literature. They were a revelation. 
They pointed to a life unknown to the 
world. Joy and sorrow, happiness and 
woe, love and marriage, scenes of sick- 
ness and death, all the common hap- 
penings that go to make up daily life, are 
described by him with a sympathetic feel- 

2 28 Old European Jciurics, 

ing that only a loving spirit can experience. 
They are homely scenes that he pictures. 
Nothing grandiose or heroic in the sense 
of the uncommon appears upon his pages, 
and for this very reason, because all his 
stories are concerned with scenes and inci- 
dents with which everyone is familiar, and 
which appeal to the human heart, he ex- 
ercised such power with his pen, and made 
the better side of Ghetto life immortal. 
Scenes of home, scenes of the heart, of 
mother's love, of father's self-sacrifice, of 
filial devotion, of conjugal constancy, these 
form the burden of his tales, and as long as 
man is interesting to man, so long must 
stories of this kind meet with a sympathetic 
reception. The qualities of the heart as 
appearing in the Ghetto formed the inspi- 
ration of his muse, and the human heart re- 
sponds to what is true or loving, wherever 
it may appear. Then, too, he presented 
in strong colors the strange characters pe- 
culiar to the Ghetto, the products of cen- 
turies of seclusion and exclusion, such as 
the Min, the silent man; the Seelenfdn- 
gerin, the woman who took God's place 

The Ghetto in Literature. 229 

in protecting the helpless ; the Dorfgeher, 
the peddler ; the Shlemihl, the awkward 
individual unfortunate in every undertak- 
ing. Institutions peculiar to the Ghetto 
were explained to the world, such as the 
Beschau^ the custom of the young men of 
the Ghetto to visit, with the purpose of 
taking to wife, the girl recommended to 
them by the marriage broker, or Shadchen, 
Ohne Bewilligung is the story of the cou- 
ples who, because of the inhuman regula- 
tion limiting Jewish families to a certain 
number, could not obtain permission from 
the government to marry, and there- 
fore, although united by a religious cer- 
emony, were in the eyes of the law not 
legally married. These scenes and char- 
acters he paints with the brush of the 
artist, and in a manner so vivid that we 
perceive at once that he is writing from 
knowledge and with sympathy. It is only 
the fairer side that he presents, the hor- 
rors of that existence he passes by. He 
throws the shimmer of beauty over every- 
thing that he touches, and in the light of 
his writings the poetry of the Ghetto alone 

230 Old En ropca n Jew rics. 

appears. Even his characters are for the 
most part good, and we are led to think 
that the darker traits that deface human 
nature did not exist there. This was due to 
his ideaHstic, artistic temperament. After 
his death, in 1886, Karl Emil Franzos, 
another novelist of the Ghetto, wrote of 
this feature of Kompert's stories: '* Jew- 
ish life, as portrayed by Kompert, appears 
more edifying than it really is. Not that 
he exaggerated its good traits, or avoided 
the shadows and the reverse of the medal, 
but he did not describe these so vigor- 
ously and minutely as its bright side. This 
was the result, not of carefully planned 
purpose on his part, but of his artistic in- 
dividuality and character. He could not 
speak a harsh word, or express an adverse 
opinion. Wickedness was to him a source 
of spiritual pain, and, in art, he hated to 
analyze a low character." This is a fault of 
omission, but the purity and ideality of 
Kompert's writings atone for a defect of 
this kind, a defect readily pardoned. Pro- 
fessor H. Steinthal most beautifully says : 
*' What was it that guided Kompert's pen ? 

The Ghetto m Literature, 231 


Gratitude, and the love of a Jewish son 
for his Jewish mother, the Ghetto street ; 
for this revealed to him the place, of his 
childhood, full of the brightest sunlight. 
His glance was not directed to the nar- 
rowness of the street or the pavement; 
he preferred to look up to the sky from 
which brightness beamed." 

Now let us examine more closely the 
stories, so distinctive in their treatment, 
which fascinated the reading world. 

Kompert wrote his first stories of the 
Ghetto in 1846 — 1847 f^^ ^^^ Viennay^/^r- 
hueh fur Israeli ten. Then followed in 
rapid succession his many other tales, **At 
the Plough," a lengthy romance, '' Bohe- 
mian Jews," "New Stories from the 
Ghetto," "Tales of a Jews' Street," vol- 
umes of short stories, and " Amongst 
Ruins." These comprise his Jewish stories; 
he wrote others also, but with them we are 
not concerned here. 

r'irst, a few words as to what Ghetto 
life itself was to him. He says in one of 
his stories: "In the Ghetto every indi- 
vidual is bound by a thousand chains to 

232 Old European Jiyivrics, 

the community. Woe has here a thou- 
sand tongues, and if the lightning blast 
the happiness of a single one, a thou- 
sand eyelashes are cast down."'^" 

Of the inhabitants of the Ghetto, he 
tells us: **They had their sorrows and 
troubles, as we have ours, and when mis- 
fortune came upon them, it visited them 
with harsh and heavy blows. Rude and 
unfeeling, it struck them with doubled 
fist. But when their hearts expanded 
with happiness, and they wished to enjoy 
themselves, they were like such as swim 
in refreshing waters. They plunged in, 
fresh and courageous, and permitted them- 
selves to be carried by the stream whither- 
soever it, not they, wished."'^* Again : 
'' We must not look for much romance, for 
we are in the Ghetto, and there the people 
have something else to do besides stand- 
ing idly at the wells and helping beautiful 
Rachels remove heavy stones. The people 
there are themselves stones, and must 
permit themselves to be shoved and moved 
by the caprice of others. "^^^ 

He wrote in the purest German ; he 

The Ghetto in Literature, 233 

never uses the jargon except when it serves 
to bring out his characters in stronger 
light. His stories are truly poetic and 

In his tale, Die Jahrzeit,^^ i, e,, the an- 
niversary of a parent's death, always com- 
memorated by the children throughout 
their lives by the KaddishythdX distinctively 
Jewish prayer, he portrays the loving at- 
tachment of the Jew for his dead, and the 
anxiety of the living to have some one say 
the Kaddish for them, when they have pass- 
ed away. An abstract of this tale will fur- 
nish a good c^xamplc of Kompcrt's power 
and style. The story tells of Jacob Low, a 
rich man, who had five promising sons and 
one daughter. He is delighted with the 
thought that there will be five sons to 
survive him and recite the Kaddish for 
the parents after their death. His hopes, 
however, are shattered, for, one after 
another, these sons succumb to a treach- 
erous disease. All his expectations now 
center in the daughter ; if there is to be 
anyone to remember him after death, it 
will be her children. He lavishes every- 

234 Old European y claries, 

thing upon her. She is a gay, careless 
child, and falls in love with a certain Jac- 
ques. Her parents oppose the match. 
The father had set his heart upon her 
marrying his cousin Maier, a good-hearted 
though homely young man. She, how- 
ever, marries the man of her choice, and 
follows him to Hungary. Her father dis- 
cards her; the mother dies; the father 
grows morose, hard, sullen. There is no 
one to remember the Jahrzcit of his wife 
except himself. He is an old man ; when 
he dies there will be no one to recite the 
Kaddish ; both will be forgotten. Mean- 
while the daughter fares badly ; she has 
married unhappily ; her husband deserts 
her, and goes to America. She returns 
to her home, and passes the night on a 
bench in front of her fathers house, 
her little boy beside her. Early in the 
morning, before anyone is astir in the 
street, her cousin Maier, who happens to 
have left his house, comes across her, and 
shocked at her appearance and her home- 
less condition, induces her to go into his 
home to his parents, her relatives. A 

The Ghetto in Literature, 235 

happy idea strikes him by which to effect 
a reconciliation with the father. It is two 
clays before the anniversary of the moth- 
er's death. By dint of hard work and 
perseverance he succeeds in teaching the 
child the Kaddish, On the anniversary 
he takes the child to the synagogue. The 
close of the story had best be told in 
Kompert's own words : *' The decisive 
moment had come. Maier took up the 
boy quickly, and carried him through the 
rows of worshippers up to Jacob Low, at 
whose side he placed him. Lost in the 
painful recollection of what the prayer 
aroused in this hour, Jacob looked straight 
before him, and did not notice what was 
taking place round about. 

He began the prayer. * * * But clearer 
and ever clearer resounded the same words 
from the mouth of a child at his side. His 
eyes involuntarily Tilled with tears. * * * 
He paused and listened, and let the child 
speak alone. * * * All his woe, all the icy 
pain at his heart, which had chilled him 
for so many years, melted before these 
pure, clear. childish sounds. That 

236 Old European Jewries, 

which he had always concealed in his in- 
nermost heart, the longing for his lost 
daughter, the secret which he thought no 
human soul would ever discover, this child 
unraveled. * * * 'Who is this child ?* he 
cried with piercing voice, when the last 
words of the prayer had scarcely sounded. 

* Cousin,' said Maier behind him, * * * 

* it is your and Esther's grandchild. * * * 
It is Biilmele's child.' 

With a faint cry Jacob Low staggered 
backwards, and would have sustained a 
severe fall had Maier not caught him in 
his arms. His face was deathly pale, he 
had fainted. 

A great commotion arose among the 
worshippers ; they crowded around ; an 
unheard of thing had taken place before 
their eyes. 

All at once Jacob L5w stood up sup- 
ported by Maier. He began to weep bit- 

* Where is the child?' cried he, not no- 
ticing it on account of his streaming tears. 
'Where is Blumele's child?' 

Then Maier picked up the boy, and laid 

The Ghetto in Literature. 237 

him upon his grandfather's breast. Trem- 
bling arms embraced the child. * * * 

* Blumclc ! Where is my Blumclc !* 
cried Jacob Low. 

So the prayer of a child had reconciled 
father and daughter." 

Blumele's husband died in America; 
she married her cousin, and Jacob Low 
lived to see many grandchildren, who 
would recite the Kaddish for him after his 

Of the Kaddishy that remarkable prayer, 
which even to-day the most lax and in- 
different Jew feels it his duty to recite, 
as an act of filial piety, in memory of a 
deceased parent, Kompert says : 

•' The Kaddish is that peculiar prayer 
handed down from generation to genera- 
tion,from century to century, which, spoken 
in the language of ancient Zion, forms 
an essential portion of the daily service. 
Its origin is mysterious; angels are jsaid 
to have brought it down from heaven and 
taught it to men. About this prayer the 
tenderest threads of filial feeling and 
human recollection are entwined ; for it 

238 Old European ycwrics. 

is the prayer of the orphans ! When the 
fatherorthemotherdies, thesurvivingsons 
are to recite it twice daily, morning and 
evening, throughout the year of mourn- 
ing, and then also on each recurring anni- 
versary of the death, or, as it is called in 
the Ghetto, on the Jahrzeit, for it pos- 
sesses wonderful power. * * * 

Truly, if there is any bond strong and 
indissoluble enough to chain heaven to 
earth it is this prayer! It keeps the liv- 
ing together, and forms the bridge to the 
mysterious realm of the dead. One 
might almost say that this prayer is the 
watchman and the guardian of the people 
by whom alone it is uttered; therein lies the 
warrant of its continuance. Can a people 
disappear and be annihilated * * * so 
long as a child remembers its parents? 
* * * It may sound strange : in the midst 
of the wildest dissipation has this prayer 
of recollection recalled to his better self 
many a dissolute character, so that he has 
bethought himself, and for a short time at 
least purified himself by honoring the 
memory of his parents. Such a one may 

The Ghetto in Literattcre. 239 

well shudder when he thinks of the life 
he has led, and compares it with that 
which he might have passed, if the eye of 
father and mother had still watched over 
him ! 

Because this prayer is a resurrection in 
the spirit of the perishable in man, because 
it does not acknowledge death, because it 
permits the blossom, which, withered, has 
fallen from the tree of mankind, to flower 
and develop again in the human heart, 
therefore it possesses sanctifying power ! 
To know that thou wilt die, wilt pass 
from this ever restless, corruptible form 
into a mysterious hereafter, but that the 
earth dully falling on thy head will not 
cover thee entirely; that there remain 
those behind who know that thou hast 
died, who, wherever they may be on this 
wide earth, whether they be poor or rich, 
will send this prayer after thee ; to know 
that thou canst call no green spot in this 
world thine, that thou leavest them no 
house, no estate, no field by which they 
must remember thee, and that yet thej' 
will cherish thy memory as their dearest 

240 Old European Jewries, 

inheritance ; * * * insignificant, despised, 
a bubble though thou wast in life, they 
raise thee to importance long after thou 
art no longer here ; * * * who is there 
that cannot comprehend Jacob Low's 
peculiar train of thought, and that he 
found great satisfaction in the knowledge 
that five boys would say Kaddish for 

Plain, homely scenes, occurrences in 
daily life, the old and ever new story of 
love and devotion, as developed among 
the Jews, he beautifully describes. The 
** Jewish heart" that beats so kindly and 
sympathetically, that even in greatest 
misfortune retained its interest in men, 
he knew how to appreciate. In one place, 
in speaking of this term, '* Jewish heart," 
he says : **This word embodies something 
inexpressible, and it is difficult to make 
it even approximately understood. What 
may appear to some an empty sound takes 
on a reality of which the Ghetto is best 
able to speak. This * heart ' is an histor- 
ical tradition — whoever appeals to it, 
desires to say, * Do not forget ! be mind- 

The Ghetto in Literature, 241 

ful of that which your fathers, my fathers, 
suffered together, what they experienced, 
how they rejoiced, and also sorrowed ! ' It 
is the expression of the strongest fellow- 
ship, the secret bond of sympathy in a 
brother s fate * * * whatever the Ghetto 
is, and however it may appear, without 
that Micart' it would be something en- 
tirely different. In all likelihood, we 
would have nothing to report about it ! "'^^ 
**The Jew can give to all, the Jew does 
not hesitate, and that is the case because 
the Jew has a heart/' 

And who will not appreciate these words? 
^*A mother's heart is a peculiar thing. 
Stronger and more courageous than any 
hero in battle, if it is necessary to defend 
a child, whether from real danger or 
from the slightest fancied evil, it be- 
comes fearful, almost cowardly, when it 
anticipates danger."*^^' Throughout his 
writings occur these beautiful expressions, 
giving proof of his deep and searching in- 
sight into human nature. 

But Kompert was more than the poet 

of the feelings. He was enthusiastically 

242 Old European Jewries, 

interested in the complete emancipation 
of the Jew from the oppression of centuries. 
All plans to further the development of 
trades among Jews found his hearty sup- 
port, and in one of his stories, Trcnderl^^^'' 
he tells of a Jewish boy who became a 
skilled workman. He felt that, more than 
anything else, the Jew's working in the 
same trades with others, a privilege that 
past legislation had denied him, would tend 
to break down the barriers of prejudice, 
and so he exclaims, '* Hammer away, O, 
locksmith ! every blow on the anvil breaks 
a link from the chain of slavery that binds 
thy people, and sounds a welcome to the 
new time coming." 

In the movement to make Jews farmers 
he showed lively interest. He felt that 
the Jew must out from the Ghetto with 
its trading into the field with its freedom. 
The day of emancipation that had dawned 
must see more and more Jews ploughing 
the fields and harvesting the grain. The 
farmer is a free man, he says, far, far supe- 
rior to the trader and the merchant. His 
beautiful story, *' The Princess,"'*^ dwells 

The Ghetto in Literature, 243 

on the superiority, the independence of 
the farmer s life, and describes the doings 
and the happiness of the Jewish agricul- 
turist He makes his farmer say: **Can 
you not be made to understand that in this 
day of ours a farmer counts for far more 
than all who sit in their shops, and contend 
with one another for customers ? * * * I^ 
who dwell here on my estate, and owe no 
man a penny, I am more than the people 
in the 'Streets* with all their money and 
treasures." Inhisromance,**Atthe Plough," 
he treats of the same subject. He tells of 
a family that left the Ghetto, and took to 
farming. The book teaches a like lesson 
of the departure of the Jews from the 
Ghetto, the participation in the new life 
that a kindlier legislation opened to Jews, 
the struggle to give up the old familiar 
habits, and the final adaptation- to new 
conditions. These stories he wrote con 
amove. He was a lover of nature, and 
his descriptions of the fields and their pro- 
ducts are masterly. He felt that a new 
and better time had come, that the Jews 
would have to adapt themselves to new 

244 ^^^ European yeivrics. 

conditions, that the Ghetto with its nar- 
rowing influences would have to give way 
to the larger life of nature and companion- 
ship with men in general. 

Although he so poetically portrayed the 
scenes and the life of the Ghetto, yet was 
he a child of his age. He was much af- 
fected and influenced by the new spirit. 
In writing his stories of the Ghetto, he 
seemed to be describing incidents of a dis- 
tant past ; in his tales depicting the strug- 
gles in adopting new ideas and new occu- 
pations, he stood in the present. The 
story that gives most complete expression 
to the new spirit is his longest tale, 
** Amongst Ruins." Here the new strug- 
gles with the old, the letter with the spirit. 
Tolerance between Jew and Christian is 
the text ; a new life arising from the ruins 
of what was wrong, intolerant, hateful in 
the old. Thus was Leopold Kompert a 
power; he opened a new department in 
literature. He moved in a narrow groove, 
it may be said, but on that very account 
he reached such mastery in his art. He 
has had followers and imitators, but as the 

The Ghetto in Literature. 245 

interpreter of the now vanished life of the 
Ghetto he stands unequalled. 

There have been many others who, after 
Kompert had given the impulse, worked 
the mine of Ghetto life, and wrote stories 
more or less true to life. We may men- 
tion S. Kohn, author of Gabriel, and many 
other stories, whose scenes are laid in the 
Ghetto of Prague ; Edward Kulke, E. O. 
Tauber, Michael Klapp, S. H. Mosenthal, 
Leo Herzberg-Frankel, Fanny Lewald, 
S. F'ormstecher, Ludwig Philippson, M. 
Lehmann, Max Ring, M. Goldschmidt ;'*9 
Ludwig August Frankl, who wove 
the legends of the Prague Ghetto 
into his poem, Dcr Primator ; Phoebus 
Philippson, in his strange and powerful 
tale, Der unbekannte Rabbi; Nathan 
Samuely, author of ** Pictures of Jewish 
Life in Galicia," and many others. There 
are several living authors who should be 
particularly mentioned as excelling in the 
treatment of Ghetto life. Karl Emil 
Franzos may be called the intellectual 
scion of Kompert. His scenes arc for 
the most part laid in Galicia and the Buko- 

246 Old Ettropean yewries, 

wina. He depicts the darker and sadder 
sides of Ghetto life. He is different from 
Kompert in this. Kompert's was an opti- 
mistic nature ; he lived in the period of 
emancipation when hope gilded the hori- 
zon. Franzos, living in a later day, has 
experienced the futility of those hopes. 
The Jews of the Galician towns are as 
they were before the year 1848, which 
promised to bring about an entire revolu- 
tion in the status of Jews everywhere 
in Europe. His best known Jewish writ- 
ings are, **The Jews of Barnow" and 
'* From the Don to the Danube," sketches 
that inform the world of the characteris- 
tics of Jewish life in those far-off and un- 
known quarters of Galicia,^ where super- 
stition is rife, and firm belief in the mira- 
cles wrought by the wonder-rabbi of 
Sadagora rules. It is a pity that Franzos 
paints only the sombre pictures, but the 
misery and sorrows of that life seem to 
have so impressed themselves upon his 
mind as to force out of sight the brighter 
and lighter scenes. His last Ghetto 
novel, Judith Trachtenberg, is a powerful 

The Ghetto in Literature, 247 

tale, and treats the vexed subject of inter- 
course betwen Christians and Jews. The 
moral he desires to teach is the impos- 
sibility of happiness in mixed marriages. 
Judith Trachtenberg is the victim of the 
unhappiness caused by such a union. Her 
father says to her at the start, fire and 
water will not readily mix. In the intoxi- 
cation of love she consents to become a 
Christian. When she learns that she has 
been duped, a revulsion of feeling sets in. 
She desires to remain a Jewess ; her hus- 
band, a Christian nobleman, looks down 
upon Jews; she feels that there is only 
misery in store for them both, and 
rather than live on so, she determines to 
die after having exacted a promise that 
she will be buried as a Jewess. It is bet- 
ter for her, better for her husband. As a 
Jewess she was content; she can never be 
anything else. A home disrupted by reli- 
gion must be unhappy. The author sets 
forth the consequences of intermarriage 
in these strong colors to make the lesson 
as powerful as possible. 

I mention further the well known 

248 Old European Jewries, 

writer, Sacher-Masoch, who, although a 
Christian, has written many realistic stories 
of Jewish life in Poland and Galicia. 

Born in Lemberg, he is thoroughly well 
acquainted with the scenes which he de- 
scribes and the life which he portrays. 
He is altogether unprejudiced, and al- 
though his tales do not always place his 
characters in the most favorable light, yet 
we feel that he is true to nature. 

Some years ago, a new writer of Ghetto 
novels, Miss E. P. Orzeszko, appeared on 
the horizon, and created a sensation with 
her book Meier Esofowicz^^ The scene 
is laid in the far off village of Szybow, 
Russia, and depicts the struggles of a 
youth whose desire for culture stirred up 
all the bitter fanaticism of the strict Jew- 
ish conformists. It is the tale of the 
struggle of enlightenment with ignorance, 
of reason \vith blind faith, of the spirit of 
religion with the form. Meier represents 
all the strivings of a lofty human soul for 
the best and noblest, rising above outward 
circumstances and surroundings ; his ene- 
niies embody the uncompromising fealty 

The Ghetto in Literature. 249 

to tradition. The scenes are powerfully 
drawn. The story is essentially one of 
to-day, and the author has well succeeded 
in depicting the different currents of re- 
ligious thought. Since then Miss Or- 
zeszko has written other Jewish stories, 
one of which, *' A Flower,*' has lately ap- 
peared in the columns of the Allgemeine 
Zeitung dcs Jndenthuuis.^^^ 

The latest writer of sketches of Ghetto 
life, and at the same time the first English 
author of strength to undertake the treat- 
ment of the traits developed in the con- 
fines of Jewry, is Israel Zangwill, whose 
book entitled **The Children of the Ghet- 
to" appeared recently. It is true that his 
sketches are pictures of life in the Jewish 
quarter of London, which is not a Ghetto 
in the sense in which I have considered 
Ghettos. This Jewish quarterwasthedomi- 
cile voluntarily chosen by Jews who settled 
in the great city, and, therefore, this book 
scarcely comes within the range of my sub- 
ject, but the traits and characteristics 
developed in this quarter, as set forth in 
the pages of his volumes, are much the 

250 Old European yewrics, 

same as the Ghetto everywhere produced. 
The inhabitants came for the most part 
from real Ghettos, and transferred to their 
new home the peculiarities acquired in the 
old. These sketches are unique, different 
from what we had grown accustomed to 
in the Ghetto novels of the German writers 
mentioned. The author writes of present 
conditions, and throws many a flash-light 
of keen observation upon modern English 
Jewish life in the east and west ends of 
London. The small vices and the many 
virtues of the children of the Ghetto are 
skilfullysetforth in these powerful sketches, 
unlike any thing in English literature. 

iMy task is done. 1 have traced the 
establishment of the Ghetto from its be- 
ginning to the day of its removal in civil- 
ized lands, and have presented its life in 
its various phases and localities. It is a 
long, sad story of religious repression and 
sectarian hatred, and forms a gloomy chap- 
ter in the volume of the dark doings of 
men. The Jew, however, bears no rancor ; 
he thanks God that this is past, and with 
the optimism characteristic of his religion 

The Ghetto in Literature, 251 

works on and hopes on, looking forward 
to the coming of the time when all men 
will be free to think, free to act, free to 
live anywhere and everywhere on the earth, 
which **God has given to the children of 




' Frederic Heidekoper, Judaism at Rome, B. C. 76 to A. 
D. 140, p. 6. New York, 1876. 

'Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, XIV, 4, 5. 

H. Graetz, Geschichte der Judeu, Vol. Ill, p. 142. 
Leipsic, 1863. 

E. Renau inaiutaiiis that there were Jews in Rome as 
early as the second century B. C. E. Histoire du Peuple 
Israel, Vol. V, p. 6. Paris, 1893. 

• G. B. Depping, Les Juifs dans le Moyen Age, pp. 1-2. 
Paris, 1834. 

I. B^darride, Les Juifs en FrancCf en Italie et en 
EspagnCf p. 25. Paris, 1861. 

* Romans, XV, 24. 
^/dtd., 28. 

'^'Haeretici, si se transferre noluerint ad ecclesiam 
catholicam, nee ipsis catholicas daudas esse puellas : sed 
neque Judaeis, neque haereticis dare placuit ; eo quod 
nulla possit esse societas fideli cum infideli. Si contra 
interdictum fecerint parentes abstineri per quinquennium 
placet.*' See Labbe et Cosartii, Concilia Sacrosancta, 
Vol. I, pp. 1 273- 1 276. Paris, 167 1- 1672 ; also, Conciliarum 
omnium generalinm et proviucialium collectio regia, Vol. 
I, p. 645. Paris, 1644. 

' "Si vero quis clericus vel fidelis cum Judaeis cibum 
sumpserit, placuit eum a communione abstinere, ut debeat 
eniendari.*' Ibid.^ p. 651. ♦ 

' *' Admoneri placuit possessores, ut non patiantur fruc- 
tus suos quoB a Deo percipiunt, a Judaeis benedici : ne 

( 255 ) 

256 Old European ycwries. 

nostram irritam et iufinnaiii faciaut betiedictiouem. Si 
quis post interdictum facere usurpaverit, penitus ab 
ecclesia abj iciattir. " Ibid. 

• Graetz, Geschichte der Juden, Vol. V, pp. 55-56. 

'® Depping, I«es Juifs dans le Moyen Age, p. 4. 

^^ Martin Bouquet, Recueil des Historiens des Gaules, 
Vol. I, p. 746. Paris, 1840-1876. 

"Graetz, Geschichte der Juden, Vol. V, p. 219. 

Otto Stobbe, Die Juden in Deutschland wahrend des 
Mittelalters, p. 201. Brunswick, 1866. See also the arti- 
cle, ^'Stammen die Juden in den siidlichen Rheinlanden 
von den Vangionen ab?" in Briiirs Jahrbucher fur 
judische Geschichte und Literature Vol. IV, pp. 34-4a 
Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1879. 

^' Stobbe, Die Juden in Deutschland, p. 88. 

^^Ibid.f p. 200, note 10. 

*^ Moritz Stern, Aus der altereu Geschichte der Juden in 
Regensburg, in Zeitschri/t fur die Geschichte der fuden 
in Deutschland^ Vol. I, p. 383. 

^^ Stobbe, Die Juden in Deutschland, p. 260, note 10. 

" Hugo Barbeck, Geschichte der Juden in Niirnberg 
und Fiirth, p. 6. Nuremberg, 1878. 

'^On the subject of the earliest notices concerning 
Jews in England, see Joseph Jacobs, The Jews of Ange- 
vin England, p. IX and pp. 2-3. New York and London, 


'* Salomon Goldschmidt, Geschichte der Juden in Eng- 
land, pp. 2-4. Berlin, 1886. 

^ For first settlement in Bohemia, see below, p. 84. 

" Graetz, G^chichte der Juden, Vol. VI, p. 269. 

''Stobbe, Die Juden in Deutschland, p. 12. 
* " For the relation between the king and the Jews in 
•England, see Jacobs, The Jews of Angevin England, 
Introduction, p. XV fif. 

'* Stobbe, Geschichte der Juden in Deutschland, p. 19. 

^ For instance, in the act of Frederick I, of the year 

Notes, 257 

1 156, by which Margrave Henry was created duke of 
Austria, among other privileges granted him is this of 
having Jews in his land : " et potest in terrissuis omnibus 
tenerejudaeos, " etc. See Sulamith, Vol. IV, p. 220. 

^ "Pestmassige Abschliessung," Leopold Zunz, Die got- 
tesdienstlichen Vortrage der Juden, p. 451. Prankfort- 
on-the-Main, 1892. 

*^ David Kaufman n, Don Joseph Nassi, der Begriinder 
der Colonien im Heiligen Lande und die Gemeinde von 
Cori in der Campagna, in Allgemeine Zeiiung des Judefi" 
thuf9ts, Vol. XLIX, p. 9. 

"•See below, pp. 35-39- 

^Stobbe, Diejudenin Deutscliland, p. 176. 

Honiger, Zur Geschichte der Juden im friiheren Mtt- 
telalter, in Zeiischrift fur die Geschichte der Juden in 
Deutschland^ Vol. I, p. 90. 

** Leopold Treitel, Ghetto und Ghetto Dichter, p. 7, in 
M. Brann*s Volks und Haus Kalender. Leipsic, 1892. 

" A. Berliner, A us den letzten Tagen des romischen 
Ghetto, p. 2. Berlin, 1886. 

Joseph Jacobs, Studies in Jewish Statistics, Appendix, 
p. XXI, note 3. London, 1891. 

^ E. Rodocanachi,Le Saint-Sidge et les Juifs, p. 41, note 
4. Paris, 1 89 1. 

"' For an account of the Portuguese Judiarias, see M. 
Kayserling, Juden in Portugal, pp. 49-52. Leipsic, 1867. 

'*Graetz, Geschichte der Juden, Vol. IX, p. 46. 

** See below, Chap. V. 

^ Bddarride, Les Juifs in Prance, en Italic et en Es- 
pagne, p. 335. 

^^ Ibid., p. 365. 

'^Graetz, Geschichte der Juden, Vol. X, p. 49. 

''L. Erler, Historisch-kritische Uebersichtder national- 
okonomischen und social-politischen Literatur, p. 372. 
Mayence, 1879. 

*^Ibid,y p. 5a 

258 Old European yewrics. 

^^ ly. Zunz, Ziir Gescliiclite und Liter atur, p. 488. Ber- 
lin, 1845. 

*^Ibid,, p. 505. 

**/did.t p. 491. 

^^Ibid., p. 500. 

*^Ibid,, p. 514. 

**H6niger, Zur Geschichte der Juden im friiheren Mit- 
telalter, in Zeitschrift fi'ir die Geschichte der Juden in 
Deutschland^ Vol. I, p. 91. 

^^ Stol^be, Die Juden in Deutschland» p. 94. 

**Moritz Stern, Aus der alteren Geschichte der Juden 
in Regensburg, in Zeitschrift fur die Geschichte der 
Juden inDeutschlandi Vol. I, p. 383. 

*' Stobbe, Die Juden in Deutschland, p. 63. 

«>See below, Chap. IV. 

^* Stobbe, Die Juden in Deutschland, p. 276. . 

^^ Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums^ Vol. LV (Octo- 
ber, 1891), p. 500. 

"See below, Chap. III. 

** Berliner, Aus dem iuneren Iveben der deutschen 
Juden im Mittel alter, p. 52, quoted in Allgetneine Zeit- 
ung des JudenthumSt Vol. LV, p. 500. See also PrankePs 
Monatsschrift fur die Geschichte und Wissenschaft des 
Judenthutns^ Vol. X (1861), p. 280. 

^ *'In nomine sanctae et individuae Trinitatis. Ego, 
Rudigerus, qui et Huozmannus cognomine, Nemetensts 
qualiscunque Episcopus. Cum ex Spirensi villa urbem 
facerem, putavi melius amplificare honorem Loci nostri, 
si et Judaeos colligerem. Collectos igitur locavi extra 
communionem et habitationem caeterorum civium, et ne 
pejoris turbae insolentia facile turbarentur, muro eosdem 
circumdedi: Locum vero habitationis eorum juste ac- 
quisieram ; prinio namque clivuui partini pecunia, partim 
commutatione : Vallem autem dono cohaeredum accepi: 
Locum, inquam, ilium tradidi eis ea conditione ut an- 
uuatini persolvant III Libras et dimidiam Spirensis 

Notes. 259 

monetae ad communem usum Fratrum ; attribui etiam eis 
intra ambitum habitationis suae et e regioue extra usque 
navalcni portuni etinipsonavali portu^liberaui potestatem 
comuiutandi auruni et argentum, emendi vero et vendendi 
omnia quae placuerint, eandunque licentiam tradidi ets 
per totam civitatem. Dedi insuper eis de praedio Eccle* 
siae locum sepulturae sub haereditaria conditione. Iliud 
quoque addidi, si ut Judaeus aliunde apud ipsos liabitatus 
fuerit, nullum ibt solvat teloneum ; deinde, sicut tri- 
bunus urbis inter cives, ita Archisynagogus suus omnem 
judicet querimoniam quae contlgerit inter eos et adversus 
eos. At, si quam forte non determinarc potuerit* ascendit 
causa ante Episcopum civitatis, vel ejus camerarium. 
Vigilias, tuiciones, municiones, circa suum tantummodo 
exhibeant ambitum ; tuiciones vero communiter cum 
seryientibus. Nutrices et conductitios servientes ex 
nostris licite habeant ; carnes mactatas, quas viderint sibi 
illicitas secundum legis suae sanctionem, licite vendant 
Christianis, licite emant cas Christian!. Ad summani, 
pro cuuuilo benignitatis concessi illis legem, qnancuuique 
melioreni liabet populus Judaeorum in qualibet urbe, 
Teutonici Regni. 

Quam Traditionem, atque concessionem, ne aliquis 
meorum successorum ejus pejorare, vel ad majorem 
censum eos coustringere vaieat, tanquam ipsi banc con- 
ditionem sibi usurpaverint et non ab Episcopo acceperint, 
hfliic cartani praedictae Traditionis idoneam testis reliqui 
eis. Et ut cjusdem rei memoria per temporalia saecula 
pcrmaiieat, manu propria subscribendo corroboravi ac 
sigilli mei impressione, ut infra videri potest insigniri 

Data est haec carta idibus Septembris, Anno Dominicae 
Incarnationis MI/XXXIIII Indict VII (mediante fere 
Januario) Anno XII ex quo cpepit praesidere in eadem 
civitate pracnominatus Episcopus, cujus est caracter 

Published in Orient 1842, p. 391. 

26o Old Etcropean Jewries. 

^ "Quuiu adUuc terra Polonica sit in corpore Christian- 
itatis nova plantatio, ne forte eo facilius populus Chria- 
tianus a cohabientium Judaeorum superstitionibus et 
pravis moribus inficiatur . . . praecipimus, ut Judaei in 
hac provincia, Gneznensi commorantes, inter Christianos 
permixti nou habitent, sed in aliquo sequestri loco civi- 
tatis vel viliae domos suas sibi contiguas sive conjunctas 
habeant) ita quod a communi habitatione Christiauoruui, 
saepe luuro vel fossato liabitatio separatur.*' — See 
Stobbe, Die Juden in Deutschland, p. 176, note. 

67 « Nee recipiantur (Judaei) alicubi ultra mensem ad 
liabitandum, nisi in locis in quibus habuerint synagogas.*' 
Conciliarum omnium generalium et provincialium Col- 
lectio regia, Vol. XXVIII, p. 783. 

^ '* Et quod ad liabitandum alicubi ultra mensem recipi 
nou deberent (Judaei), uisi in locis, in quibus obtinent 
syuagogas. Sed quia nonnulli nescientes a vetitis absti- 
nere, statutum salubre praefati Concilii (Ravenna III) 
vilipendunt, ignorantiaaffectata, poena docente, poterunt 
cognoscere, quam sit grave constitutiones ecclesiasticos 
praeterire, ideoque sacro approbante concilio volentes 
huic morbo salubriter providere, monemus omnes tam 
clericos quam laicos nostrae provinctae atque statuimus, 
quatenus nullus de cetero locet domos ipsis Judaeis nee 
locatas dimittat, aut vendat sen quocumque colore con- 
cedat, vel inhabitare permittat ultra duos menses a publi- 
catione praesentis constitutionis. Qui vero contra fecerit, 
ipso facto excommunicationis incurrat sententiam, a qua 
absolvi non possit, nisi plene satisfecerit in praedictis.*' 
--Ibid,, Vol. XXIX, p. 47. 

^ '* Statuimus ut Judaei et &raceni inter Christianos, 
vel Christiani inter Judaeos, vel Saracenos, domos, lios- 
pitia seu alia receptacula in quibus liabitent, nullatenus, 
permittantur habere ; sed. in civitatibus et locis ubi certae 
limitationes sunt, eisdem Judaeis et Saracenis deputatae* 
reducantur ad eas, et infra ipsas constituant habitationes 

Notes, 261 

suas. Ubi vero Judaei et Saraceni praedicti ad habitan- 
duiii 11011 liabueriiit linjusmodi limitationes seu terminos 
deputatoG, Ihiiilentur et assignentur eisdcm partes ali- 
quae in civitatibus et locis praedictis a Cliristianorum 
habitation ibiis separatae, infra quas reducant se, nee ex- 
tra praedictani Hniitationem permittantur quomodolibet 
commorari ; . . . Christiani autem, qui intra Hniitationem 
Judaeis yel Saracenis, assignatani vel assignandam, hab- 
itare praesunipserint, si infra duos menses a die publica- 
tionis praesentium factae in ecclesia cathedrali civitatis 
vel diocesis ubi moram trahunt, se ad commorandum 
inter Christianos reducere non curaverint, ad id per cen- 
suram ecclesiasticam compel lantur. Judaeis vero et Sar- 
acenis, si infra dictum terminum duorum mensium ubi 
limitatio est facta, vel postquam dictae limitationes de 
ordiuatione et voluntate domini regis, vel cujuscumquc 
alterius domini ecclesiastic! vel temporalis civitatis vel 
loci factae fuerint, se ad easdem reducere noluerint vel 
iieglexerint, Cliristianorum communio subtralintur.*' — 
Ibid.,Vo\. XXIX. p. 171. 

•® '* Quorum (Judaeorum) ut eviietur niniia conversatio, 
in aliquibuscivitatum et oppidorum locis a Cliristianorum 
cohabitatione separatis liabitare compellantur et ab eccle- 
siis longius quantum fieri potest" Ibid.tVol. XIV, p 207. 

*^ " Vehementer autem a principibus petimus ut in 
singulis civitatibus certum locum constituant ubi Judaei 
separatim a Cliristianis liabitatum conveniant. Et, si 
quas proprias aedes Judaei in civitate habent, intra sex 
menses eas, vere, non autem simulato contracto Christ- 
ianis vendi jubeant.**— -fftV/., Vol. XXXVI, p. 137. 

•'H. Baerwald, Der alte Friedhof der israelitischen 
Gemeinde zu Frankfurt-am-Main. Frankfort-ourthe 
Main, 1880. 

li. Lewysolin, Sechzig Bpitaphien von Grabsteinen des 
israelitischen Fricdhofes zu Worms, p. 3. Frankfort-on- 
tlie-Main, 1855. 

262 Old European yewrtes. 

•* See above, pp. 67-68. 

*^ David Kaufmanu in the introduction to S. Hock, Die 
Pamilien Prags nacli den Epitaphien des alten jUdischen 
Priedhofs in Prag, p. 36. Pressburg, 1892. 

^ See above, p. 72. 

^ The author of the F'ne Yehoshuah, a commentary on 
various sections of the Talmud, was Rabbi Jacob Joshua 
Palk, rabbi in Praukfort from 1741 to 1756 when he died. 
On the rabbis of Prankfort see M. Horowitz, Prankfur- 
ter Rabbinen. Prankfort-on-the-Main, 1885. 

•^ H. Baerwald, Der alte Priedhof der israelitischen 
Gemeinde zu Prankfurt-am-Main, p. 13. 

•* D. Podiebrad, Alterthiimer der Prager Josefstadt, p. 
131. Prague, 1882, 

^ Ibid.^ p. 132. 

^"Graetz, Geschichte der Juden, Vol. VI, p. no. 

G. Wolf, Die Juden (in the series. Die Volker Oesler- 
reich-Boehmens), p. 7. Vienna and Teschen, 1883. 

"Wolf. Die Juden, p. 8. 

^*Graetz, Geschichte der Juden, Vol. VIII, p. 58. 

W<df, Die Juden, p. 16. 

^' Isaak Markus Jost, Geschichte der Israeliten, Vol. 
VII, p. 275. Breslau, 1820. 

'* Graetz, Geschichte der Juden, Vol. VIII, pp. 76-78. 

Wolf, Die Juden, p. 17. 

^* See above, pp. 62-66. 

On the subject of the confiscation of Jewish books, see: 
A. Berliner, Censur and- Confiscation hebraischer Biicher 
im Kirchenstaate, Berlin, 1891. A. Kisch, Die Ankla- 
geartikel gegen den Talmud and ihre Vertheidigung 
durch Rabbi Jechiel ben Joseph vor Ludwig dem Heili- 
gen in Paris, in Graetz-Prankel's Monatsschrift fur 
Geschichte und IVissenscha/t des Judenihums, Vol. 
XXIII (1874), pp. 10-18, 62-75, 123-130. 155-163. 204- 
212. H. Graetz, Aktenstiicke zur Confiscation der jiidi- 
schen Schriften in Prankfurt-am-Main unter Kaiser Maxi- 

Notes. 263 

milian durch PfefFerkorn's Augeberei, Ibid,^ Vol. XXIV 
(1875), pp. 289-300, 337-343» 385-402. S. A. Hirsch, John 
PfefTerkorii and the Battle of the Books, in Jewish Qtutr- 
terly Review^ Vol. IV» pp. 256-292. London, 1892. 

'• K. Lieben, Gal Ed. Grabsteininschriften des prager 
Israeli tischen alten Friedhofs (with notes by S. Hock and 
introduction by S. L. Rappoport), p. 22. Prague, 1856. 
This incident forms the plot of S. Kohn's Ghetto novel, 
Dor Retter. See below, p. 115. 

" Graetz, Geschichte der Judeii, Vol. X, p. 29. 

^® A. Kisch, Die Prager Judenstadtwahreud der Schlacht 
am Weissen Berge. Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums^ 
Vol. LVI, p. 400. 

"Jost, Geschichte der Israeliten, Vol. VIII, p. 227. 
Frankel's Monatsschrift fur Geschichte und Wissenschaft 
des JudenthuvtSf Vol. X (1861), p. 280. 

** Graetz, Geschichte der Juden, Vol. X, p. 50. 

" Wolf, Die Juden, p. 31. 

^* Ibid,y p. 37. 

^'Froni 1784 to 1849 the Jewish community of Prague 
had a kind of special government, far from autonomous, 
however, since its affairs, even in their details, were 
under the supervision of the town magistrate. The 
Jewish quarter remained distinct in one respect : the 
funds necessary for its administration had to be raised 
from among its own inhabitants. In 1894 even this dis^ 
ti fiction disappeared. Thejttdenstadl became incorpor- 
ated with the rest of the city in all respects. Since then 
the Jewish community has been a religious body only. 
The old Jewish quarter is now known as the Josef siadL 
Podiebrad, Die Alterthiimer der Prager Josefstadt, p. 120. 

^Wolf, Die Juden, p. 112. 

^Ibid,y p. 7. note. 

In the introduction to Gal Ed mentioned above (note 76), 
S. L. Rappoport proves that the stone supposed to date 
from the year 606, and regarded as the oldest in the 

264 Old European yewrics, 

cemetery, really belongs to the seventeenth century, pp. 


» Lieben, Gal Ed. 

Hock, Die Familien Prags nacli den Epitaphien ues 
alten jiidischen Priedhofs in Prag. 

^^ Zunz, Zur Geschichte und lyiteratur, p. 395. 

^ A. Berliner, Geschichte der Juden in Rom, Vol. I, 
pp. 5-6, Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1893. 

^ Ibid,^ Vol. I, p. 25. 

w Ibid., Vol. I, p. 105. 

'' Rodocanachi, Le Saint-Si^ge et les Juifs, p. 25 fif. 

•* D. Cassel, article '* Juden,*' in Ersch upd Gruber*s 
Allgemeine Encyclopadie (Part XXVII), p. 148. 

*» See above, p. 27. 

•* F. Gregorovius, Wandeijahre in Italien, Vol. I, pp. 
103-104. Leipsic, 1 876-1881. 

^ Quoted in Rodocanachi, Le Saint-Si^ge et les Juifs, 
p. 60. 

** Berliner, Geschichte der Juden in Rom, Vol. II, Pt. 

II. p. 13- 
*^ Rodocanachi, Le Saint-Si^ge et les Juifs, p. 2. So. 

for example, Alexander III (1159-1181) said that Jews 

were to be tolerateil * ' pro sola humanitate, " ** * on account 

of humanity alone," and Clement III (1187-1191), *'ex 

vera gratia etmisericordia," ** from real mercy and pity." 

M. Giid^mann, Geschichte des Erziehungsweseus und 
der Cultur der Juden in Italien wahrend des Mittelalters, 
Vol. II, p. 76. Vienna, 1884. 

^ See on this point, Berliner, Geschichte der Juden in 
Rom, Vol. II, Pt. I, p. 34. 

*** Cassel, article "Juden," in Ersch und Gruber's 
Encyclopadie, p. 148, notes. 

*^See Ludwig August Frankl's poem. Tourist und 
Cicerone am Titusbogen in Rom, Ahnenbilder, p. 93. 
But Berliner, in his lately published work, Geschichte 
der Juden in Rom, Vol. I, p. 40, states that this tradition 

Notes, 265 

is uukuown among the Jews of Rome. 

*** Rodocanachi, I^ Saint-Si^ge et les Juifs, p. 205 ff. 

'""Graetz, Geschichte der Juden, Vol. IX, pp 501-502. 

'** Gregorovius, Waiiderjahre in Italien, Vol. I, p. 99. 

»«/i^«V/., p. 100. 

*°*Cassel, article "Juden,** in Brsch und Gruber*8 
Encyclopadie, p. 148. 

Archibalb Bower, History of the Popes, Vol, II, p. 464 
Pliiladelpdia, 1844-1845. 

^^GUdemann, Geschichte des Erzichuugswesens und 
der Cultur der Juden in Italien, Vol. II, p. 77. 

'^^ Gregorovius, Geschichte der Stadt Rom im Mittelal- 
ter vom fiinflen bis zum sechzehuteii Jahrhuudert, Vol. 
IV, p. 396. Stuttgart, 1869-1873. 

*"Cassel, article **Juden,** in Ersch und Gruber's 
Encyclopadie, p. 148. 

*^ Bower, History of the Popes, Vol. II, p. 464. 

no ^rier, Historisch-kritische Ueberaicht der national- 
okonomischen und social-politischen Literatur, p. 389. 

"* Bower, History of the Popes, Vol. II, p. 470. 

"' Berliner, Geschichte der Juden in Rom, Vol. II, p. 39. 

"-'* Rodocanachi, Le Saint-Si^ge et les Juifs, p. 284. 

"*/diflf., p. 285. 

"*/dirf., p. 301. 

"•/Wflf., p. 306. 

'" Gregorovius, Wandeijahre in Italien, Vol. I, p. 100. 

"" Before the institution of the Ghetto, there were a 
number of synagogues in different portions of the city. 
Berliner, Geschichte der Juden in Rom, Vol. II, pp. 12-13. 

"»/*tV/., Vol.11, p. 107. 

'^ A thorough discussion of the origin and history of 
the blood accusation may be found in Prof. Hermann I^ 
Strack, Der Aberglaube in der Meuschheit, Blut-Morde 
und Blut-Ritus. Munich, 1892. 

**' In 1886. See Berliner, Aus den letzten Tagen des 
romischen Ghetto, p. 8. 

266 Old European yewries. 

*** The Persecution of the Jews in Russia, p. 5. I>)n- 
don, 1891. Report of the Russo-Jewish Committee. 

"'Leo Errera, Les Juifs Russes, Kxtermination on 
Emancipation ? p. 18. Brussels, 1893. 

These Mky laws were certainly inhuman, but in the 
spring of 1894 the special commission appointed to in- 
quire into the Jewish question recommended to the 
authorities at St. Petersburg a number of provisions, com- 
pared with which the May laws of 1882 seem only a be- 
ginning. These provisions, as reported in the press, are 
as follows : 

To forbid the Jews from residing in those places where 
the real estate is the property of the peasantry. 

To banish from the villages of the western district all 
those Jews who have attained their majority since the 
passing of the May laws of 1882; and to forbid all Jews, 
as soon as they have attained their majority, from tak- 
ing up their residence in villages that belong to tlie 

To extend to all the Polish districts those provisions of 
the May laws of 1882 which prohibit Jews from settling 
outside the towns as well as from acquiring property in 

To enact that all those Jews who do not act in accord- 
ance with the restrictive laws concerning residence in 
the western provinces (districts of the Pale of Settlement 
and of Poland) are to be subjected to a special punish- 
ment of four months' imprisonment in addition to trans- 
port by Hape, 

To institute special supervision over those Jews who, 
according to the new laws, have the right to sojourn in 
the villages. This supervision is to be entrusted to the 
village police, who are to draw up complete lists of 
Jews coming under this category. These lists are to be 
kept in the government offices and open for gen- 
eral inspection, and the bureau is to have the right of 

Notes. 267 

expelling from the hamlets and villages any Jews who 
may be considered open to suspicion. 

To restrict throughout the whole empire the rights of 
the Jews in reference to the purchase of real estate. 

To revoke that law which allows Jewish mechanics, 
doctors and assistants, dentists, and wet-nurses to settle 
in all parts of the country. 

To forbid the Jews from entering the provinces of the 
interior in order to learn pharmaceutical chemistry, 
medicine, and dentistry. 

To expel from the districts of the interior all apothe- 
caries, medical assistants, and wet-nurses of the Jewish 
religion who now reside there. 

To institute a special punishment, in addition to trans- 
port by klapCy for all those Jews who may offend against 
the above laws concerning sojourn in the districts of the 

At the time of writing, it is not known whether or not 
these rccommcndationH have been adopted. 

"* The Persecution of the Jews in Russia, pp. 7-8. 

»** Harold Frederic, The New Exodus. A Study of 
Israel in Russia, pp. 260-261. New York, 1892. 

'**Errera, Les JuifsRusses, pp. 68-69. 

'"/^/rf., p. 83. 

'" Hall Caine, * * Scenes on the Russian Frontier. " \,oxi' 
(Sow Jewish Chronicle^ December 10, 1892. 

>» Frederic, The New Exodus, p. 164. 

iM Nicolas de Gradowsky, I^a Situation I/*gale des 
Israelites en Russie, Vol. I, p. 326 ff. .Paris, 1891. 

»•■»» Frederic, The New Exodus, p. 224. 

*'" The Persecution of the Jews in Russia, p. 20. 

'"Anatole Leroy Beaulieu, Les Juifs Russes et leur 
Ghetto, in Les Juifii de Russie, Recueil d' Articles et d' 
Etudes sur leur Situation Legale, Sociale et Economique. 
Paris, 189 1. 

'•'*See Errera, Les Juifs Russes, pp. 162-177. 

268 Old European yewrics. 

'-'^ Charles (t. Iceland is said to have such a work in 

"•Zunz, Die gottesdienstlicheii Vortragederjuden, pp. 

Giidemann, Geschichte des Erzlehuiigsweseus uud der 

Caltur der Judetiin Deutschland,wahrend des vierzehnteii 

uud des filiifzehnteii Jahrhunderts, p. 2S0 fT. Vienna, 


See also an article on ** The Jargon,** by L. N. Dembitz 
in The American Hebrew (New York), May 6, 1892. 

»"L Zangwill, Children of the Ghetto. Vol. I, p. 6. 
Philadelphia, 1892. 

*^ Judaism at the World*s Parliament of Religions, 
passim, Cincinnati, 1894. 

'** See the author's Jew in English Fiction, p. 8 ff. 
Cincinnati, 1889. 

»'o David Kinhorn, Sinai, Vol. VI, p. 186. 

*" I^eopold Kompert, Gesamnielte Schrifteii, Vol. I, p. 
II. Leipsic, 1887. . 

^'-'Ibid., Vol. IV, p. 48. 

"V^jV/., Vol. I, p. 246. 

^** Ibid., Vol V, pp. 1.57. 

»V^/V/., Vol. V. p. 62. 

^**/bid., Vol. IV, p. 82. 

"V^tV/., Vol. II, p. 220. 

'"/^iV., Vol. IV, p. 202. 

^*^ Adolph Koluit, The Ghetto Novel and its Represen- 
tatives. The Menorah Monthly (New York), Vol. IV, 

p. 351. 

i«>The English translation appeared in Thejetoiih Re- 
former (New York). January to June, 1886. 

"'January 8 to February 5, 1892. 

I N D F. X . 

**A Flower/* novel by Or- 
zeszko, 249. 

Agobard (bishop) attacks 
Jews» 12. 

Agriculture advocated by 
Kotiipert, 242-243. 
for Russian Jews, 212-213. 

Alexander II (Tzar) per- 
mits Jews to dwell be- 
yond the Pale, 179. 

Alexander III (pope) quot- 
ed, 264. ' 
welcomed by Jews, 138- 

Alexander VII (pope) favors 

converted Jews, 133-134. 

a decree by, 159. 

Alexandria, Jews settle in,' 

Ali'Neu Synagoge at 
Prague, 103-109. 

Auiolo (bishop) attacks 
Jews, 12. 

"Amongst Ruins,** novel 
by Konipert, 231, 244. 

Amsterdam, the largest Jew- 
ish community, loi. 

Anacletus II, pope of Jew- 
ish descent, 147-151. 

Aucona, Jews permitted to 
live in, 129, i^i. 

Anti-Jewish laws in Russia, 
179 (F, 266-267. 

Anti-Semitism, charges of, 


Antokolsky not permitted 
in St. Petersburg, 190. 

Artisans, definition of, 184. 
live outside of Pale, 179. 
Russian regulations about, 

Ascoli, David d', defends the 
Jews, 124. 

Asia Minor, Jews settle in 
cities of, 5. 

Astrakhan, Jews excluded 
from, 178. 

••At the Plough," novel by 
Konipert, 231, 243. 

Auerbach, Berthold, novel- 
ist, 224, 227. 

Austria, Ghettos established 

^ in, 30- 

Avignon, Jews permitted to 
live in» 131. 

Baden, Jewish trade socie- 
ties in, 210. 

Baltic Provinces, Jews ex- 
cluded from the, 178. 

Basle, decree of council of, 

Jews of, sold to the 
bishop, ]6. 

Basse wi , Jacob, of Prague, 94. 

Bavaria, Jewish trade so- 
cieties in, 210. 

Belgium, Jews settle in, 9. 

Benedict VIII (pope) gives 
a charter to the Jews of 
Rome, 122. 


270 Old Etiropean Jewries, 



Benedict XIV (pope) ex- 
tends the privileges of 
the Jews, 161. 

Beneventuui, Ghetto estab- 
lished at, 27. 

Berditchev, effect of May 
laws upon, 182-183. 

Berliner, A., quoted, 24-25. 

Bernstein, Aaron, novelist, 
198, 224. 
novels of, characterized, 

quoted, 225-226. 

Beschau, a Ghetto custom, 

Bessarabia, Jews excluded 
from, 178. 

Bibliotheca Oppenhehn 
the Bodleian, 114. 

Black Death imputed 
Jews, 47. 

Blood-accusation described 
by Heine, 222-223. 
history of, 265. 

Bohemia, early settlement 
of Jews in, 84-85. 
Ghettos established in, 30. 
Jew tax in, 99. 

** Bohemian Jews,** stories 
by Kompert, 231. 

Borne, Ludwig, in the 
Frankfort Ghetto, 76. 

Borne Slrasse, a street of 
the Frankfort Ghetto. 


Bortihetmer Strasse, a street 
of the Frankfort Ghetto, 

72, 75. 
Breslau, decree of council 

of, .39 40. 
Bukowina, scene of Fran- 

zos*s novels, 245. 
Bulls (papal), 123, 130, 131, 

143-144. 155. 
Caraffa, see Paul IV. 

Calixtus II, first pope wel- 
comed by Jews, 138. 

Canon laws (English) lay 
restrictions on Jews, 1 1 . 

Carben, Victor von, exam- 
ines Hebrew books, 65. 

Carnival, Roman Jews take 
part in the, 141. 

Carriera, Provenyal name 
for Ghetto, 20. 

Castro, Ghetto established 
at, 28. 

Cemetery at Frankfort, 76- 
at Prague, 109-117. 

"Children of the Ghetto, 
The," novel byZang- 
will, 249-250. 

Christian prejudices, 201- 

Christians separated from 
Jews, 21-22. 

Church Councils, decrees of, 
7, 20, 39-45. . 

Clement III (pope) quoted, 

Clement VIII (pope) ex- 
pels the Jews, 130-131. 

Clement IX (pope) frees 
the Jews from participa- 
tion in the races, 142. 

Cologne, Jews* quarter es- 
tablished at, 28-29. 
Jews settle in, 10. 

Confiscation of Hebrew 
books, 64, 92. 
literature on, 262-263. 

"Confessions of the Jews, 
The," pamphlet by 
Pfefferkorn, 62. 

Conrad III (emperor) pro- 
tects Jews of Nurem- 
berg. 14. 

Conversion of Jews at 
Rome, 143-156. 



Cosuias (bishop) preaches 
against the crusades, 

Croyland, possessions of 

moiiks of, II. 
Crusaders attack the Jews 

of Prague, 87. 
Crusades, Jews during the, 

Cunigunda encourages Pfef- 

ferkorn, 62-63. 
Dalberg, Karl Theodor von, 

improves the Frankfort 

Ghetto, 73. 
Dance house in the Ghetto, 

Del Medigo, Joseph, Jew- 
ish scholar, I14. 
Depping, G. B., quoted, 6. 
Der Pritnator^ poem by L. 

A. Prankl, 245. 
Der Rabbi von Bacharach^ 

fragment by Heine, 222. 
Der Sinai (nmgazine), 

quoted, 224-225. 
"Der Retter,** novel by S. 

Kohii, 263. 
Der unbekannie Rabbi^ 

novel by Phoebus Phil- 

ippson, 245. 
Dichter und Kaufmann^ 

novel by Auerbach, 224. 
Die Jahrzeit^ novel by 

Kompert, 233-240. 
Dominicans employ Pfeffer- 

korn, 61. 
ridiculed, 65. 
Dom Pedro issues a Ghetto 

regulation, 26. 
Dor/geher, a Ghetto char- 
acter, 229. 
East, Ghettos established in 

the, 30. 
Einhorn, Dr. David, quoted, 


Ekaterinoslav open to Jews, 

•* Enemyof the Jews, The," 

pamphlet by PfeflFer- 

korn, 62. 
Egbert (archbishop) collects 

English canon laws, 11. 
Egypt, Jews settle in cities 

of, 5. 
England, first notices of 

Jews in, lo-ii. 

Epistle to the Romans, quot- 
ed, 6, 7. 

EpistolcB Obscurorum Vir- 
orutn, satire, 65. 

Erfurt, right of taxation of 
Jews of, 16-17. 

Eugenins III (pope) wel- 
comed by Jews, 138. 

Palk, Jacob Joshua, rabbi 
at Frankfort, 262. 

Ferdinand I (emperor) ex- 
pels the Jews from 
Prague, 93. 

Ferdinand II (emperor) 
makes the Prague 
Ghetto independent, 
relieves the Jews of Prague 
from unjust taxes, 96. 

Ferdinand HI (emperor) in- 
creases the privileges of 
the Jews of Prague, 98. 

Ferrara, Ghetto established 
at, 27. 

Fettmilch, Vincent, a festi- 
val named for him, 69. 
attacks the Frankfort 
Ghetto, 67. 

Finland, Jews excluded 
from, 178. 

Flagellants calumniate 
Jews, 47. 

Florence, Ghetto estab- 
lished at, 27. 

272 Old Etcropean Jewries. 

Fonnstecher, S., Ghetto 
novelist, 245. 

Frankfort buys the right to 
tax Jews, 46. 
Ghetto of, abandoned* 75; 
attacked by Fettmilch, 
67-69 ; cemetery of the, 
76-80; construction of 
the houses in the, 80-81 ; 
description and regula- 
tions of the, 56-60; de- 
stroyed, 69-70; estab- 
lished, 29, 49; establish- 
ment of the, decreed, 
50; improved, 71, 73; 
occupied* 54; owner- 

- ship of the houses in the, 
55; reasons for the estab- 
lishment of the, 50; signs 
on the houses of the', 72f 
situation of the, 51. 
guilds hostile to Jews, 

Jewish trade societies in, 

Jews of, bought by the 
emperor, ^-69 ; cele- 
brate Purim Fettmilch, 
69; civil and political 
status of, 48-51. 
Jews settle in, 46. 
re-admits Jews, 47-48. 

Frankl, Ludwig August, 
Ghetto poet, 245, 264. 

Franzos, Karl Kmil, Ghetto 
novelist, 198, 245-247. 
quoted, 30, 230. 

Frederick II (emperor) in- 
stitutes the Salerno 
Ghetto, 27. 

Frederick III (emperor) in- 
stitutes the Frankfort 
Ghetto, 50. 
protects the Jews of Ratis- 
bon, 15. 

Frederick Barbarossa (em- 
peror) institutes imper- 
ial protection of Jews, 


Gabriel, Ghetto novel, 245. 

Galicia, scene of Franzos's 
novels, 245 ; of Sacher- 
Masoch's novels, 248. 

Gans, David, Jewish his- 
torian, 114. 

Gaul, settlement of Jews in,9. 

Genoa, Ghetto established 
at, 27. 

Genoa, Ghettos established 
in, 30. 

Germany, restrictions laid 
upon Jews of, 28. 

Ghetto (see under Frank- 
fort, Prague, Rome, 
Russia, etc.) 
characters, 228-229. 
customs, 229. 
dance house in the, 33. 
establishment of the, 25- 

inhabitants described by 

Kompert, 232. 

Italian name for Jews' 
quarter, 20. 

life described by Kom- 
pert, 231-232 ; effects of, 
apparent now, 199-200 ; 
legitimate subject for 
fiction, 220. 

novelists, 198,245,248-250. 

novels, 222, 224-226, 229, 
23I1 233-240, 242-244, 
245-250, 263. 
Ghetto, the, perpetuated in 
literature, 220. 

the, produces a peculiar 
language, 198 ; isola- 
tion, 21 ; peculiar cus- 
toms, 197-198; virtues, 




Ghetto, brothels transferred 
to the, 30. 
voluntary, 22-23, 200-201, 

Goldschmidt, M., Ghetto 
novelist, 245. 

Golem^ figure made by the 
Hohe Rabbi Low^ 113. 

Graetz, quoted, 8, 14. 

Great Russia, Jews ex- 
cluded from, 178. 

Gregory XIII (pope) com- 
pels Jews to listen to 
sermons, j 43-144. 
permits Jews to return to 
the Papal States, 130. 

Grodno open to Jews, 178. 

Guilds exclude Jewsi 203. 
hostile to Jews, 66. 

Hamburg, Jewish trade so- 
cieties in, 210. 

Heine, Heinrich, first Ghetto 
novelist, 222. 
quoted, 222, 223. 

Hendel, wife of Jacob Bas- 
sewi, 115. 

Henry IV (emperor) pro- 
tects Jews, 14. 

Herzberg-Frankel, Leo, 
Ghetto novelist, 245. 

Hessen, Jewish trade so- 
cieties in, 210. 

Hocfi Synagoge attached to 
the Prague town hall, 

Hohe Rabbi Loiv^ chief 
rabbi of Prague, 113- 

Hoogstraten, Jacob van, 
grand inquisitor, 62. 
examines Hebrew books, 

Horowitz, Dr. M., collector 
of Frankfort epitaphs, 



Hutten, Ulrich von, author 
of EbistoUe Obscuro- 
rum Virorum^ 65. 

Ignatieff inspires the Rus- 
sian anti-Jewish laws, 

Illiberis, decree of council 
of, 7-8. 

Intermarriage treated by 
Franzos, 247. 

Innocent II (pope) wel- 
comed by Jews, 138. 

Innocent III (pope) limits 
the trades of the Jews, 

Innocent IV (pope) forbids 
forcible conversions, 89. 

Innocent VIII (pope) 
shields the Roman 
Jews, 140. 

Jahrbuch fur Israeliten^ 
Vienna publication, 2^1. 

Jerusalem destroyed by 
Romans, 5. 

Jew badges abolished at 
Rome, 160. 

decreed by Cburch 
councils, 20. 
devised by Innocent III, 

Jewesses, beauty of, 22^. 

** Jewish heart," described 
by Kompert, 240-241. 

Jew quarters, names for, 

Jews {see under the various 
cttieSf countries^ etc.) 
as artisans, 206, 208-209; 
farmers, 206,210; jour- 
nalists, 214; manufac- 
turers, 210; vinegrow- 
ers, 206. 
abhor murder, 216. 
absorbed in Rabbinical 
dialectics, 195. 

2 74 Old European Jewries, 

Jews attacked by bishops of 
Lyons, 12. 
Black Death imputed to, 

carried to Rome by Pom- 

pey, 5- 
charged witli blasphemy, 

condition of, improved by 

Joseph II, 100. 
consumers, 202-203. 
converted, favored, 133- 

deported by Titus, 6. 

descended from Van- 
giones, 9. 

disabilities of, removed, 

during the crusades, 12-13. 

emancipated in the nine- 
teenth century, 209. 

excluded from guilds, 
203 ; from trades, 206. 

family life of, 196-197. 

form trade societies, 210. 

forbidden to appear dur- 
ing Holy Week, 89. 

forced to adopt commerce, 

granted to the Duke of 
Austria, 257. 

isolated by Ghettos, 21-22. 

liberality of, 201-202. 

mentioned in the Theo- 
dosian Code, 89. 

Merovingians hostile to, 

morality of, 196, 216. 

protected ap^ainst exces- 
sive taxation, 15. 

protected by Conrad III, 
14; by the emperors, 

14-15. . 
protest against the confis- 
cation of their books, 64. 

Jews, restricted to certain 

trades, 207 ; by English 

canon laws, 11. 
separated from Christ • 

lans, 21-22. 
settlements of, 5, 9, 10, 

show effect of Ghetto life, 


sold, 16. 

stunted by exclusion, 

successful at the univer- 
sities and in the profes- 
sions, 213-214. 
trained by Talmud 

studies, 195, 214. 
unpleasant traits of, due 

to persecution, 194. 
Visigothic kings hostile 
to, 12. 

Jew tax in Bohemia, 99. 

Josefstadty name of Prague 
Ghetto, 82, 263. 

Joseph II (emperor] im- 
proves the condition of 
the Jews, 100. 

Journalism, Jews successful 
in, 214. 

Joao I, of Portugal, issues 
Ghetto regulations, 26. 

Judccos habere^ right of 
residence, 17-18. 

Judah ben Bezalel, chief 
rabbi of Prague, 1 13- 114. 

/udengariefi, name o f 
Prague cemetery, 109. 

Judengasse, German name 
for Ghetto, 20. 
Ghetto at Ueberlingen, 29. 

Judenordnungen^ decrees 
concerning Jews of 
Frankfort, 48-5a 

Judenspiegel^ pamphlet by 
Pfefferkorn, 62. 



Judensindt^ name of Prague 

Ghetto, 82. 
JiidenstrassCt Gertnau name 

for Ghetto, 20. 
Judenviertel, German name 

for GhettOy 20. 
Judex JudcBorwn, appoint- 
ed by Ottokar II, loi. 
Judiaria^ Portuguese name 

for Ghetto, 20, 26. 
Jiidisch-deuisch ( j argon ), 

analyzed by Zuuz, 198- 

work on, 268. 
Jtidiih Trachtenberg^ novel 

by Franzos, 246^247. 
Juiveries, French name for 

Ghetto, 20. 
Julius III (pope) imposes a 

tax on the Jews of 

Rome, 155. 
Jus gazzaga^ rent law in 

the Roman Ghetto, 133- 

Kaddish described, 237-240. 
Kazan, Jews excluded from, 

Kherson open to Jews, 

Kiev (city), Jewish artisans 

ejected from, 187. 
Jews excluded from, 178. 
Kiev (province) open to 

Jews, 1^8. 
Klapp, Michael, Ghetto 

novelist, 245. 
Kohen, Mordecai Zemach, 

averts the expulsion of 

the Jews from Prague, 

93. 115- 
Kohn, S., Ghetto novelist, 

198, 245, 263. 
Kompert, Leopold, Ghetto 

novelist, 198, 226-245. 
Kowuo open to Jews, 178. 

Kulke Edward, Ghetto 
novelist, 245. 

Landau, R. Samuel, of 
Prague, iio-in. 

Lateral! council (Fourth), 
decrees Jew badges, 20. 

Lehmann, M., Ghetto novel- 
. ist, 245. 

Lelahd, Chas. G., writer on 
the Jewish jargon, 268. 

Lemberg, birthplace of 
Sacher-Masoch, 248. 

Leo X (pope) improves the 
Roman Ghetto, 161-162. 
revives compulsory ser- 
mons for Jews, 145. 

Lewald, Fanny, Ghetto 
novelist, 245. 

Libau open to Jews, 179. 

Lisbon, Ghettos of, 26. 

Lunga Spina, Ghetto island 
at Venice, 27. 

Magdeburg, Jews settle in, 

Mantua, Ghetto established 
at, 27. 

Maria Theresa (empress), 

decrees the expulsion of 

the Bohemian Jews, 99. 

imposes an annual Jew 

tax, 99. 

Maximilian (emperor), or- 
ders the confiscation of 
Hebrew books, 63, 64. 

Mayence, Jews settle in, 10. 

May laws (Russian) cause 
overcrowded cities, 181, 
depose IgnatiefF, 182. 
comments on, by the Lon- 
don committee, 180-181. 
inspired by Ignatieff, 179. 
prevent Jews from leading 

a rural life, 181. 
provisions of the, 180. 

276 Old European Jewries. 

Meier Eso/owicz, novel by 
Orzeszko, 248-249. 

Meisel, Mordecai, builds 

town-hall at Prague, 102. 

philanthropic work of, 94, 

Mendel Gibbor^ novel by 

Bernstein, 224. 

Mendelssohn, Moses, quot- 
ed, 203. 
treated as an alien, 2 1 1. 

Merovingian kings hostile 
to Jews, 12. 

Merseburg, Jews settle in, 10. 

Milan, decree of council of, 

Min^ Ghetto character, 228. 

Minsk open to Jews, 178. 

Moschita Court at Pulermo, 

Moscow, artisans ejected 

from, 187. 
Mosenthal, S. H., Ghetto 

novelist, 245. 
Miinchengratz, birthplace 

of Konipert, 227. 
Naples, Ghetto established 

at. 27. 
**New Stories from the 

Ghetto," novels by 

Konipert, 231. 
Nikolaiev, Jews excluded 

from, 178. 
Nuremberg, Ghetto estab- 
lished at, 29. 
Jews find refuge in, 14; 

settle in, 10. 
Odessa, artisans ejected 

from, 187. 
Ohne Bewilligung, novel 

by Konipert, 229. 
Oppenheim, David, chief 

rabbi of Prague, 114. 
Ordo RontanuSy quoted, 


Orzeszko, Miss K. P., Ghet- 
to novelist, 248-249. 

Ottokar II makes the Jews 
of Prague autonomous, 


Pale of Settlement, the 
(Russia), composed of 
fifteen gubernia, 178. 

description of, 191 -192. 

Jews excluded from the 
cities of, 178; expelled 
from, 188. 

rights of Jews within, 190. 

number of Jews in, 188. 

treatment of dwellers in, 
Palermo, Ghetto established 

at, 27-28. 
Papal States, Jews expelled 
from the, 129, 131 ; per- 
mitted to return to the, 

Paul (apostle) mentions 
Jews of Spain, 6-7. 

Paul II (pope) institutes 
carnival races, 141. 

Paul IV CarafFa (pope), 
death of, 126. 
establishes the Roman 
Ghetto, 27, 44. 122-124. 

Pennell quoted, 183. 

Pesach (Peter) charges Jews 
with blasphemy, 90-91. 

Pfefferkorn, John, endang- 
ers the Jewish commu- 
nity of Frankfort, 61-66. 

Philippson, I,ud wig. Ghetto 
novelist, 245. 

Philippson, Phocbiis,Ghetto 
novelist, 245. 

Phthisis, Jews suffer from, 

"Pictures of Jewish Life 
in Galicia," novel by 
Samuely, 245. 




Pierleoni, a distinguished 
Roman family of con- 
verts, 147-150. 

Pii Operai, agents fOr the 
conversion of Jews, 156. 

Pisa, Ghetto established at, 

Pius IV (pope) absolves Em- 
peror Ferdinand from 
his oath, 93. 
council of Milan held 

under, 44. 
permits Jews to put off 

Jew badges, 127. 
regulates rents in the 

Ghetto, 128. 

treats Jews k indly , 1 27-1 28. 

Pius V (pope) con6scates 

the property of the 

Jews, 129. 

expels Jews from the 

Papal States, 120-130. 
issues Ghetto regulations, 

revokes the concessions of 
Pius IV, 128-129. 
Pius VI (pope) restricts 
the liberties of the Jews, 
Pius VII (pope) kindly dis- 
posed to Jews, 160. 
made prisoner, 160. 
returns to Rome, 161. 
Pius IX (pope), abolishes 
the sermons for Je\vs, 


demolishes the walls of 
the Roman Ghetto, 162- 

reactionary policy of, 163. 

removes an indignity from 
the Jews, 143. 
P^ne Yelwshuah^ a cele- 
brated Jewish work, 79. 

author o^ 262. 

PobiedonostsefF innuenccs 
the Tzar against the 
Jews, 182. 

Podolia open to Jews, 178. 

" Poet of the Ghetto," 
Leopold Kompert, 226. 

Poland, Jewish life in, de- 
scribed by Sacher-Ma- 
doch, 248. 
Jews of, engaged in trades, 

Poltava open to Jews, 178. 

Pomerania, Jewish trade so- 
cieties in, 210. 

Ppnipey, first Roman gener- 
al to enter Jerusalem, 5. 

Pons JtidcBortiin^ a bridge 
at Rome, 121. 

Poriajtidcsorum^ gate at Col - 
ogne, 28 ; at Worms, 29. 

Portugal, Ghettos establish- 
ed in, 25-27. 

PropugnaciUwn Juda^o- 
rufUf redoubt at Col- 
ogne, 28. 

Prague, Ghetto of, AU-Nen 
Synagoge in the, 103- 
109; books confiscated 
in the, 92 ; burnt, 92-93, 
98; ceases to be com- 
pulsory, 109-117 ; courts 
of the, 103 ; description 
of the, 82-84, loi ; gov- 
ernment of the, iof-102, 
203; guarded, 95; Hoch- 
Synagoge in the, 102; 
made independent, 103 ; 
name of the, 82 ; pillag- 
ed, 94-95 ; president of 
the, 102; rabbinical jur- 
isdiction of the, abolish- 
ed, 103; restrictive reg- 
ulations in the, 92; 
town-hall in the, 102- 

278 Old European yewrics. 

Prague, Jews of, alleged de- 
secration of host by, 87- 
89 ; attacked by crusad- 
ers, 87; freed from unjust 
taxes, 96 ; gather in th e 
Judetistadt^ 85 ; guard 
the city against Swedes, 
97 ; last expulsion of, 
99 ; loyal to the imper- 
ial house, 95 ; made au- 
tonomous, loi ; ordered 
to leave the city, 93; 
privileged, 98 ; re- 
warded for fidelity, 97- 
98; saved from expul- 
sion, 93, 115. 
Purim, instituted during 
the Thirty Years* War, 


Predica coaiiiva^ conver- 

sionist sermon for Jews, 

PrifnatoTy president of the 

Prague congregation, 

" Princess, The,** novel by 

Kompert, 242-243. 
Professions, Jews successful 

in, 214. 
Prussia, Jewish trade socie- 
ties in, 210. 
Purim Fettniilch celebrated 

by Jews of Frankfort, 

Purim (Prague) instituted 

during the Thirty Years* 

War, 95-96. 
Rappaport, S. I<., quoted, 

Ratisbon, Ghetto at, 29. 
Jews of, protected, 15. 
Jews settle in, jo. 
Ravenna, decree of council 

of, 40-42. 
Renan, Krnest, quoted, 255. 

Residence, rights of, ho^v 
granted to Jews, 17-18. 

Reuchlin, John, humanist, 
friendly to Jews, 63, 64. 

Revolutions, American and 
French, banish mediae- 
valism, 207-208. 

Riga open to Jews, 179. 

Rin^, Max, Ghetto novel- 
ist, 245. 

Riesser, Gabriel, champions 
Jewish emancipation, 

quoted, 206. 

Romans, the, destroy Jeru- 
salem, 5. 

Rome, age of Jewish coin- 
nmnity at, 120. 
Ghetto of, abolished, 174; 
description of the, 125- 
126; edict concerning 
the, 158-160 ; estab- 
lished, 27. 44, 122-124 ; 
government of, 157- 
158 ; improved, 162 ; 
limits of the, 124; name 
of the, 124 ; regulations 
about holding property 
in the, 132-135 ; regula- 
tions of Pius V about 
the, 129-130; rent regu- 
lated in the, 128 ; syna- 
gogues of the, 157, 265 ; 
walls of the, demol- 
ished, 162-163. 
Jew badge abolished in, 

Jews of, compelled to 
listen to sermons, 143- 
145 ; conversion of, 143- 
156 ; expelled, 130-131 ; 
favorable position of, 
120-121, 130-137; given 
equal rights, 161; 
granted permission to 



Rome, Jews of, continued, 
carry on trades, 161 ; 
live ill Transtiberis, 
121; must ask permis- 
sion to remain in the 
city, 142-143 ; permitted 
to live outside of the 
Glietto, 161 ; petition 
Pius IX, 163-174 ; privi- 
leges of, renewed, 130 ; 
receive charter, 122 ; re- 
leased from participa- 
tion in the races, 142 ; 
shielded from insult, 
140; take part in the 
carnival races, 141-142 ; 
taxed, 155. 
Jews permitted to live in, 
129, 131 ; settle in, 5. 

Rostov open to Jews, 179. 

Rothenburg, Jewish tomb- 
stones at, 30. 

Rothschild family in the 
Frankfort Ghetto, 75. 
home of, not destroyed, 75. 

Rubiauus, Crotus, author of 
Ebhtolce Obscurorum 
virorum^ 65. 

RUdiger (bishop), decree of, 

protects Jews, 22. 

Rudolph (emperor) re- 
ceives Judah ben Beza- 
lel, 114. 

Rupert (emperor) protects 
Jews from excessive 
taxation, 15. 

Russia (5^^ May laws, Pale 
of Settlement, etc.) 
Ghetto of, a district, 177- 

Jews excluded from cer- 
tain provinces of, 178, 
and from frontier of, 

Jews of, effect of restric- 
tive^aws upon, 191-192 ; 
new laws against, 266- 
267 ; privileged classes 
among the, 179, 184- 
186; restricted by the 
May laws, 1 80-18 1; suf- 
fer from phthisis, 186. 
Jews permitted to live in 
certain cities of, 1 78, 1 7^. 

Russo-Jewish committee in 
London, 180-181. 

Sacher-Masoch, Ghetto nov- 
elist, 248. 

St. Cyr (general) abolishes 
Jew badges, 160. 

St. Petersburg, artisans 
ejected from, 187. 

Salerno, Ghetto established 
at, 27. 

Samuely, Nathan, Ghetto 
novelist, 245. 

Sardinia, Jews work in 
mines of, 6. 

Saxon Duchies, Jewish 
trade societies in, 210. 

Saxony. Jewish trade so- 
cieties in, 210. 

Schacherjudey the Jew of 
popular conception, 207. 

SchwarzwiUder Dorfge- 
schichten by Auerbach, 

SebaStopol, Jews excluded 
from, 178. 

Seelenfixngerin^ Glietlo 
character, 228. 

Servi cainercBt origin and 
meaning of, 13-14. 
under Frederick II, 15. 
under Conrad IV, 15. 

Shadchen, Ghetto charac- 
ter, 229. 

Shlemihly Ghetto charac- 
ter, 229. 

28o Old European ycwrics. 

Sicily, Ghettos in, 27-2S. 
Jews of, driven into 

Ghettos, 28. 
Sixtus V (pope) renews 

privileges of the Jews, 

Spain, earliest notice of 

Jews in, 6. 

Jews of, numerous, 7. 

Speyer, Ghetto of, decree 
concerning the, 35-38; 
established, 30 ; for pro- 
tection, 35. 
Jews settle in, 10. 

Spinoza^ novel by Auer- 
bach, 224. 

Steinthal, II., quoted, 230. 

Stobbe, Otto, quoted, 15. 

Strack, Hermann L., dis- 
cusses the blood accusa- 
tion; 265. 

Strasburg, Jews of, sold, 16. 

Szybow, scene of Meier 
Esofowicz^ 248. 

** Tales of a Jews* Street,*' 
novels by Kompcrt, 

Talmud, the,enforces trades 
and agriculture, 204. 
sharpens the wits of the 
Jews, 195. 

Tauber, E. O., Ghetto 
novelist, 245. 

Taurida open to Jews, 178. 

Tchernigov open to Jews, 
population of, increased 
by May laws, 182. 

Ten Commandments re- 
spected by Jews, 216. 

Theodorus (archbishop) 
collects English canon 
laws, II. 

Theodosian Code mentions 
Jews. 8-9. 

Titus, arch of, 139-140, 264 

(note 100.) 
deports Jews, 6. 
"Tourist und Cicerone,** 

poem by 1,. A. Frankl, 

Transtiberis residence of 

the Roman Jews, 121. 
Trapani, Ghetto established 

at, 28. 
Trenderl^ novel by Koni- 

pert, 242. 
Treuenberg, Jacob von, 94. 
Treves, Ghetto at, 29. 

Jews settle in, 10. 
Turin, Ghetto established 

at, 27. 
Tzarfati, Joseph, counselor 

of Gregory XIII, 143. 
Ueberlingen, Ghetto at, 29. 
Ulni, early settlement of 

Jews in, 6. 
Universities, Jews promi- 
nent in, 214. 
Valencia, decree of council 

of, 42-44. 
Vangiones, Jews descended 

from, 9. 
Venice, Ghetto established 

at, 27. 
Vicus Judaorum^ name of 

the Roman Ghetto, 124. 
original name for Ghet- 
tos, 20. 
Visigothic kings hostile to 

Jews, 12. 
Vitebsk open to Jews, 178. 
Vogele der Maggtd^ novel 

by Bernstein, 224. 
Volhynia open to Jews, 178. 
Wenceslaus, of Bohemia, 

censures Jews, 89. 
Wilna open to Jews, 178. 
Witglaff favors the monks 
of Croyland, 11. 



Worms, date of Jewish set- 
tlement in, 6, 9, 10. 
Jews of, sold, 10. 

Zaiigwill, Israel, Ghetto 
novelist, 249-250. 

Zemach David, a Jewish 

chronicle, 114. 
Zunz, Leopold, analyzes the 
Jewish jargon, 198-199. 
quoted, 116-117. 



Jewish Publication Society 


OUTLINES OF JEWISH HISTORY. From the Return from Babylon to 
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SOME JEWISH WOMEN. By Henry Zirndorf. 

HISTORY OF THE JEWS. By Prof. H. Graetx. 

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From the Return from Babylon to the Present Time, 


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By lady MAGNUS. 

Revised by M. FKIEDLANDER, Ph. D. 


The entire work is one of great interest ; it is written with moderation, 
nnd yet with a fine enthusiasm for the great race which is set before tlie 
leader's niiud —AUantic Moidhly. 

We doubt whetlicr there is in the English language a better sketch of 
Jewish liistory. The Jewish Publication Society is to be congratulated 
on the successful opening of its career. Such a movement, so auspi- 
ciously begun, deserves the hearty support of the public— iva/itm (New 

Of universal historical imeTe&i.—PhUadelp1Ua Ledger, 

Compresses much in simple language.— BaZ<£mor«5un. 

Though full of sympathy for her own people, it is not without a sin- 
gnhirviiinc for rcudorN wlioso religious belief dIfVcrs I'roni that of the 
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modern times.— A'cw I'oik Sun, 

The Jewisli Publication Society of America has not only conferred a 
favor upon all vouug Hebrews, but also upon all Gentiles who desire to 
see the Jew as he appears to himself.— j^oston Herald. 

We know of no single-volume history which gives a better idea of the 
remarkable part played by the Jews in ancient and modern history.— 
San Francisco Chronicle. 

A succinct, well-written history of a wonderful race.— Buffalo Courier. 

The best hand-book of Jewish history that readers of any class can 
dud.— New York JTeraUi. 

A ronvcnicnt and attractive hand-book of Jewish hisioTy.— Clew land 
riain Jkakr. 

The work is an admirable one. and as a manual of Jewish history i(, 
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Altogether it would be diflicult to find another book en this subject 
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l^ady Magnus* book is a valuable addition to the store-hou>>e of litera- 
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We should like to see this volume in the library Af every school in the 
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A Tale for the Young, Narrating in Romantic Form the 
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THINK AND THANK is a most useful corrective to race pr J ndice. It 
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Bright and attractive Tending.— Philaddphia Press, 

THINK AND THANK will please boys, and it will be found popular 
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The story is a beautiful one, and gives a clear insight Into the circum- 
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the life-work of the great philanthropist.— Aancas City Times. 

We should be glad to know that this little book has a large circulation 
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of religious bigotry about it, and its perusal cannot but serve to make 
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AUhougli addressed to Jews, with an appeal to them to seek free- 
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The book has the merit of being well written, is highly entertaining, 
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The descriptions of life in Russia are vivid and add greatly to the 
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A very thrilling story.~C7iarfcsto»(i5. C,)N€Vfi. 

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The Persecution of the Jews in Russia. 


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Special and Restrictive, relating to the Jews in 

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The pamphlet is Aill of facts, and will inform people very taWy in 
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i ngtou). 

The laws and regulations governing Jews in Russia, subjecting them to 
severe oppression, grievous restrictions and systematic persecution, are 
stated in condensed form with precise references, bespeaking exactness 
In complication and in presenting the case of these unfortunate people. 
—■QiMlvtstan News, 

This pamphlet supplies information that is much in demand, and 
which ought to be generally known in enlightened countries.— (^tndii- 
nuti CiMHWcrcitil Qazette, 

Considering the present agitation upon the subject it is a very timely 
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It U \uidoubtcd1y the most compact uu I thorough presenlatiOQ of the 
ItUbMKjcwisli question.— ..^tnerjcan InraelUe, 

BuUor adapte«l to the puritose of aflTonllng an adequate knowledge of 
llio Ishuvs IuvoIvchI in, uiul Iho uunso<inttUces df, the present great 
erisis In the attklia of the -lews of Russia, than reams of rhetorie.— 

Papor. Prioe, po«tpai4, 2So. 





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and religion, which make quite interesting reading. — Burlington 

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principle, and of quite interesting developments of simple human 
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Interesting alike to Hebrew and Gentile. — Minneapolis Tribune, 

In addition to being interesting, is written with a purpose, 
and carries with it a wholesome lesson. — Safi Francisco Call. 

This a collection of brief stories of Jewish life, some of which 
are of great interest, while all are well written. — Charleston {S.C.) 
News and Courier. 

This little volume as a whole is curious and interesting, aside 
from its claims to artistic merit. — American Bookseller (New 

Short tales of Jewish life under the oppressive laws of Eastern 
Europe, full of minute detail. — Book News (Philadelphia). 

Written in delightful style, somewhat in the manner of 
Kompert and Bernstein. ... To many the booklet will be 
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characteristic of all Mr. SchnabePs works. — American Hebrew* 

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seen since the publication of " Daniel Deronda." — London Pall Mall 

This b<K>k is not a more moclianical pliotographic reproduction of tlic 
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pulsatiug sympathy of one who understands them, their thoughts and 
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A strong and remarkable book. It is not easy to find a parallel to it. 
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Among the notable productions of the time. ... All that is hero 
portrayed la unquestionable truth.— JirmsA Exponent. 

Many of the pictures will be recognized at once by those who have 
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It is a succession of sharply-penned realistic portrayals.— BatftMorc 

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— BY — 



Mornl purity, nobilily of bouI, self-sacrifice, (IcepafrccUoii find devotion, 
fiorrowaiid hiipplticss nil enter into tliesc biograpliies. and the interest 
felt in their perusal is added to by the wnnnth and sympathvi^'hich the 
author displays and by his cultured and vigorous style of writing.— 
Philadelphia Jiecord. 

His methods are at once a simplification and expansion of Josephus and 
the Talmud .stories simply told, faithful presentation of the virtues, and not 
infrequently the vices, of characters sometimes legendary, generally 
real.— Aeto York World. 

Tlie lives here given are intere«ting in all cases, and are thrilling in 
some cases.— iwic Opinion (Washington, D. C). 

The volume is one of universal hislnricinterrst, and is a portrayal of 
the early trials of Jewish women.— Jio8ton Jlcrald. 

TIioiikIi \\\o chnylorH nro lirlcf, tlicy aro clearly tlio rosnlt of deep and 
tliorouKh roHvarcli iluit gives tlio motlcsl volume an historical and critical 
val MG.—rhitadclphia limes. 

It is an altogether creditable undertaking that the present author has 
bron^lit to so gratifying a clone— the Rilliouettc drawing of Jllblical 
fenmlc character nsainst the baclcground of thos^e ancient historic times. 
— Minneapolis Tribune. 

Henry Zirndorf ranks high as a student, thinker and writer, and this 
little book will go far to encourage the study of Hebrew literature. — 
Denver Republican. 

The book is gracefully written, and has many strong touches of char- 
acterizations.— TWedo Blade, 

Tlie sketches are ba^ed upon available history and are written in clear 
narrative style.— (in/rc«/<m Kiivs. 

Henry Zirndorf has done a piece of work of much literary excellence 
in •' SoMB Jewish Women."— «W. Ltmis Post-Difjmtch. 

It is an attractive bonk in appearance and full of curious biographical 
research.— jBottimorc Sun. 

The writer shows careful research and conscientiousness in making 
his narratives historically correct and in giving to each heroine her Just 
flue.— American Israelite (Cincinnati). 

Bound in Cloth, Ornamental, Gilt Top. Price, postpaid, $1.25. 

28o Old European yciorlcs. 

Sicily, Ghettos in, 27-2S. 
Jews of, driven into 
Ghettos, 28. 

Sixtus V (pope) renews 
privileges of the Jews, 

Spain, earliest notice of 
Jews in, 6. 
Jews of, numerous, 7. 

Speyer, Ghetto of, decree 
concerning the, 35-3S; 
established, 30 ; for pro- 
tection, 35. 
Jews settle in, 10. 

Spinoza^ novel by Auer- 
bach, 224. 

Steinthal, II., quoted, 230. 

Stobbe, Otto, quoted, 15. 

Strack, Hermann L., dis- 
cusses the blood accusa- 
tion; 265. 

Strasburg, Jews of, sold, 16. 

Szybow, scene of Meier 
Esofowicz^ 248. 

** Tales of a Jews* Street," 
novels by Kompcrt, 

Talmud, the.enforces trades 
and agriculture, 204. 
sharpens the wits of the 
Jews, 195. 

Tanber, E. O., Ghetto 
novelist, 245. 

Taurida open to Jews, 178. 

Tchernigov open to Jews, 
population of, increased 
by May laws, 182. 

Ten Commandments re- 
spected by Jews, 216. 

Theodorus (archbishop) 
collects English canon 
laws, II. 

Theodosian Code mentions 
Jews, 8-9. 

Titus, arch of, 139-T40, 264 

(note 100.) 
deports Jews, 6. 
"Tourist und Cicerone,** 

poem by 1,. A. Prankl, 

Traiistiberis residence of 

the Roman Jews, 121. 
Trapani, Ghetto establishc<l 

at, 28. 
Trenderl^ novel by Kom- 

pert, 242. 
Treuenberg, Jacob von, 94. 
Treves, Ghetto at, 29. 

Jews settle in, 10. 
Turin, Ghetto established 

at, 27. 
Tzarfati, Joseph, counselor 

of Gregory XIII, 143. 
Ueberlingen, Ghetto at, 29. 
Ulni, early settlement of 

Jews in, 6. 
Universities, Jews promi- 
nent in, 214. 
Valencia, decree of council 

of, 42-44. 
Vangiones, Jews descended 

from, 9. 
Venice, Ghetto established 

at, 27. 
Viais Judaarum, name of 

the Roman Ghetto, 124. 
original name for Ghet- 
tos, 20. 
Visigothic kings hostile to 

Jews, 12. 
Vitebsk open to Jews, 178. 
Vogele der Maggtd, novel 

by Bernstein, 224. 
Volhynia open to Jews, 1 78. 
Wenceslaus, of Bohemia, 

censures Jews, 89. 
Wilna open to Jews, 178. 
Witglaff favors the monks 
of Croylaud, 11. 




Worms, date of Jewish set- 
tlement in, 6, 9, 10. 
Jews of, sold, 10. 

Zangwill, Israel, Ghetto 
uovelist, 249-250. 

Zemach David, a Jewish 

chronicle, 114. 
Zunz, Leopold, analyzes the 
Jewish jargon, 198-199. 
quoted, 116-117. 



Jewish Publication Society 


OUTLINES OF JEWISH HISTORY. From the Return from Babylon to 
the Present Time. By Lady Alagiiiia. (Itcvisud by M. Fricdlaiulcr.) 

THINK AND THANK. By Samuel W. Cooper. 

RABBI AND PRIEST. By Hilton Goldsmith. 



PEOPLE. By I. Zangwill. 

SOME JEWISH WOMEN. By Henry Zimdorf. 

HISTORY OF THE JEWS. By Prof. H. Graelz. 

VoL I. From the Earliest I'eriod to the Death of Simon the Mac- 

Vol. II. From the Reign of llyrcauus to the Completion of the 

Babylonian Talmud (500 C. £.). 
Vol. III. From the Completion of the Babylonian Talmud to the 

Expulsion of the Jews from England (1290 C £.). 

SABBATH HOUR& Thoughts. By liebman Adler. 

Dues, $3.00 per Annum. 


AT THB soci£irrs o^ncB. 


The Jewisli Publication Society of America 

Office, 1015 Arch St. 
p. o. BOX ,,64. PHILADELPHIA, PA. 


From the Return from Babylon to the Present Time, 


With Three Maps, a Frontispiece and Chronological Tables. 

By lady MAGNUS. 

Revised by M. FKIEDLANDER, Ph. D. 


The entire work is one of great Interest ; It Is written with moderation, 
nn<l yet with a fine enthusiasm for the great race which Is set before the 
reader's mind —Atlantic MoiUfUtj. 

We doubt whether there Is In the English language a better sketch of 
Jewish history. The Jewish Publication Society is to be congratulated 
on the successful opening of its career. Such a movement, so auspi- 
ciously begun, deserves the hearty support of the public— ivcUidn (New 

Of universal historical interest.— Phitaddphia Ledger, 

Ck>mpresses much In simple language.— fiaZ/fmor^ Sun, 

Tliongh full of sympathy for her own people, it is not without a sin- 
gnhirviiluo for rcadors whoso religious uclicf difVcrs from that of the 
autlH>r.— iVcio Voik Timci». 

One of the clearest and most compact works of its class produced in 
modern times.— A'cw York Sun. 

The Jewish Publication Society of America has not only conferred a 
favor upon all voung Hebrews, but also upon all Gentiles who desire to 
see the Jew as he appears to himEelt.— Boston Herald. 

We know of no single- volume history which gives a better idea of the 
remarkable part played by the Jews in ancient and modern history.— 
San Francisco Chronicle. 

A succinct, well-written history of a wonderful rsLce.— Buffalo Courier. 

Tlie best hand-book of Jewish history that readers of any class can 
find.— iVini; York Jlerakl. 

A convenient and attractive liand-book of Jewish history.— CZew^>u{ 
Vliiin Jkalcr. 

Tliework Is an admirable one. and as a manual of Jewish history it 
may be commended to persons of every race and creed.— PhUadclphiit 

Altogether it would be dinicuU to find another book on this subject 
cuntaining so much information.— ^mmcan (Philadelphia). 

I>ady Magnus' book is a valuable addition to the store-houi^e of litera- 
ture that we already Iiavo about the Sev/^.— Charleston {S. C.) News. 

We should like to see this volume in the library df every school in the 
Btute. — Albany Arfnis. 

A succinct, helpful portrayal of Jewish history,— Boston Post, 

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